College to enhance mental health training
The College of the North Atlantic (CNA) has received financial assistance to help implement a new mental health first aid training program that could reach as many as 200 staff, students and community groups throughout the province this year.
On Jan. 22, Bell and Bell Aliant, through its Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, announced $15,000 in funding for the implementation of an innovative mental health initiative.
The money will enable the college to certify several staff members as instructors for the training program, which is administered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Each of the certified instructors will then deliver the training three times over the next year.
Mental health first aid (MHFA) provides help to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.
“As a college we want to ensure the best learning and working environment for our students and staff. Providing a mental health support network is a key component to creating that environment,” said Ann Marie Vaughan, CNA’s president and CEO.
“The training provided by funding from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund helps us to be proactive in identifying the internal and external services and resources that can assist all members of our college community.”
The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is part of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative which provides grants to organizations, hospitals and agencies focused on improving access to mental health care in their communities.
“This partnership with the college demonstrates our commitment to support mental health initiatives that will have a meaningful impact in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Geoff Davis, regional vice-president of sales in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Mental health first aid training will help their staff recognize and react to the signs of distress, anxiety, depression and other related issues so students can receive early access to care and services.”
“Bell is extremely pleased to lend our support to College of the North Atlantic and the 60 other community organizations across the country that were part of the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund in 2012,” added Mary Deacon, chair of the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative.
“These groups are truly making a difference at the grassroots level. We’re very proud to be helping them provide much needed resources to enhance mental health services and programs for those affected by mental illness.”
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is a five-year charitable program that promotes mental health across Canada through the Bell Let’s Talk anti-stigma campaign and support for community care, research and workplace best practices. For more, visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.