Mental Health Awareness

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One in three Canadians will experience a mental health problem at some point during their life. The earlier a problem is detected and treated, the better the outcome. Mental Health First Aid gives people the skills they need to provide that early help that is so important in recovery.

Mental Health is an integral part of Workplace First Aid


•    Mental health problems and illnesses typically account for 30 percent of disability claims and 70 percent of the total costs of disability claims;

•    Only 34 percent of employees report having ready access to services and tools at work to help with mental health issues;

•    35 million days are lost each year due to mental health;

•    $50 billion is lost in productivity each year due to mental illness in the Canadian labour force.

In October 2018, with Bell Let’s Talk’s support St. John Ambulance announced the integration of mental health awareness content in its Standard and Emergency First Aid courses. Integrated in multiple chapters aiming to help participants define mental health, the content helps participants recognize and respond to a mental health emergency and refers them to mental health resources.

“Mental health problems and illnesses affect 1 in 5 Canadians in a given year,” says Jerry Rankin, CEO of St. John Ambulance. “As an industry leader in First Aid, a focus on mental health furthers St. John Ambulance’s mission to improve the health, safety and quality of life of Canadians at work, home and play.”

St. John Ambulance is proud to deliver several Mental Health training programs, uniquely tailored to meet Canadian workplaces’ needs across Canada.
Mental Health and Wellness for the Workplace

This course is intended to help workplaces better equip their employees in how to offer peer-to-peer support for a colleague that’s suffering. Rather than a diagnostic tool, it provides information to participants to help them better recognize the symptoms of possible mental health issues and how/where to get help. 

The course tackles topics such as: 

  • how to identify mental illnesses within oneself and one’s coworkers, 
  •  how to have difficult conversations with coworkers about mental health, suicidality, and trauma, 
  • medical / research background into why mental illnesses develop;
  • how to best treat mental illnesses.


Instructors for this course are qualified to handle the sensitive, triggering issues that can emerge when discussing serious mental health issues.
Mental Health First Aid

MHFA aims to improve mental health literacy and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, family members, friends or colleagues.

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided 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 provided until appropriate support is found or until the crisis is resolved.

Colleagues and managers are best placed to be the first to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health issues in their co-workers if trained in Mental Health First Aid.

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