Benefits of Learning About Mental Health First Aid

by Dennis Kim

Photo Credit: Frank Romero

Most people have dealt with some form of anxiety or depression in their lifetime. It’s more common than we think. Whether it’s stress from work, school, family and relationships (the list can go on), these things can feel overwhelming for anyone at any time. We offer a few different courses at Pacific First Aid that equip people to understand and recognize symptoms of common mental health crises from mood-related disorders, anxiety attacks and more. Below are some ways mental health first aid has helped people across Canada.

Learn To Put Yourself First

In today’s world, there are many people who rely on each other. Depending on your community is essential for mental health and gives us a sense of connection. On the other hand, it’s important to put yourself first or you can start to burn out. During moments of high-stress and anxiety, it’s key to take a step back and remember your basic needs. Mental health first aid courses help you recognize the first signs of mental health problems. The more these issues are left unattended, the worse it can get and can stem into bigger problems (for example panic attacks, psychotic episodes and in extreme cases, addiction).

Gain Confidence In Supporting Others

Have you ever wondered how you could support someone you love going through a mental health crisis? Psychological and mental health first aid training give you the tools necessary to support situations including substance overdose, suicidal behaviours, acute stress reactions and more. A few skills you’ll learn are:

  • Learn to listen actively
  • Link people to the appropriate support groups
  • Build resiliency within yourself so you can bounce back

Learning the skills in these different scenarios can help you calm your loved ones or a stranger going through these illnesses. Saying the right and being there for support can go a long way.

Help End The Stigma

Being aware of mental health disorders and issues is the first step to ending the stigma surrounding mental health. The more we seek answers and understand what people are going through, the more we have empathy and can support one another. Many times mental health issues are downplayed because we don’t see physical evidence that something is wrong. The more these topics are discussed, the more understanding we create within our communities, use constructive language and turn shame into empowerment.

At Pacific First Aid, we equip different groups of people (from teachers, employers, frontline workers, volunteers and more) on how to approach and provide initial help to those suffering from mental health problems. With these skills, you can not only help others, but you can recognize behavioural patterns within yourself and seek support if you need it. Finally, preparing yourself as a teacher, leader or employer and letting your staff and students know you’re there for them, can make all the difference.