Mental First Aid training coming to Amherst
A special kind of first aid is coming to Amherst, but you may never notice it in action.
Instead of chest compressions or bandages, IWK Mental Health and Addictions’ Andy Cox will offer training for a first line of response to wounds sometimes invisible to the people around them – mental health.
“The main things are to help educate people about common mental illness signs and symptoms,” Cox said.
Knowing what to look for, Cox said, helps people become Mental First Aiders – a designation available in 25 countries now - and identify when someone may be in crisis.
Originating in Australia and first brought to Canada in 2007, Cox says there are now 250,000 Mental First Aiders across Canada. According to the Government of Canada’s report in The Human Face of Mental Health and Mental Illness, more than twice that many people missed work in 2003 due to mental health issues.
“We’re getting more and more asks [for courses] from businesses because they see money lost to mental health,” Cox said.
The October 16 and 17 course will be held in the community room in the Amherst Police Dept. and is geared towards persons 16-years-old and up. There is no prerequisites required, Cox said, and he’s certain everyone will learn something to help others, if not themselves a little bit, too.
“After every course there’s always somebody who often comes up and talks about themselves and says ‘Thank you. I know what to do for myself now.”
There is a $130 registration cost for the course. For more information or to register, contact Janice Melanson at 902-661-0108, or email Janice.Melanson@HorizonNB.com.