Mental health initiative opens doors

Mental health initiative opens doors
Dec 24, 2018

A new course in rural Western Canada helps farmers discuss challenges they may be facing

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer

Mental health first aid training will help community members better understand mental health difficulties and improve communication between those rural residents who need support and those who can help provide it.

Bridges Health, a multidisciplinary workplace wellness resource based in Saskatoon, Sask., is running mental health first aid training courses, a Farmscape article said on Friday.

This organization is providing services on behalf of Do More Ag. Through the Community Fund for Mental Health First Aid, co-ordinators will deliver a 12-hour course over two days, the article said.

The mental health first aid training “is very detailed when it comes to an overview of all the mental illnesses that do exist – (including) anxiety, depression, substance use, (and) suicidal ideation,” Adelle Stewart, the director of operations with Bridges Health, said in the article.

“The skills that participants receive (are) … how to recognize the signs and symptoms in people that they are involved with day-to-day and how they can intervene from that first-aid perspective.”

Although the training is comprehensive, participants are not expected to act as professional counsellors.

People who enroll in the course will become equipped with the tools “to start the conversation and then assist that person until they can receive appropriate medical care,” Stewart said.

Through the right training, community members can help identify farmers who may be suffering and offer immediate help.  

The course will assist participants in “understand(ing) how mental health impacts their neighbours and improves the ability of people to talk to one another,” Stewart said.

shotbydave/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

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