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Rural communities to receive mental health first aid training

12 December 2018, at 12:00am

The Do More Agriculture Foundation has named the first 12 communities across Canada that will be provided mental health first aid training.

The Do More Agriculture Foundation, through its Community Fund for Mental Health First, is providing agricultural committees across Canada mental health first aid training.

Under the first round of funding 12 communities, located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and PEI, will receive training.

Kim Keller, a Saskatchewan farmer and cofounder of the Do More Agriculture Foundation, says the mental health first aid courses will be provided by licensed and registered mental health first aid facilitators.

Ms Keller says, "Mental health first aid is just like physical first aid."

She says it is training over a two-day course that helps people to recognise the signs and symptoms that someone may be experiencing a mental health issue or mental health crisis.

Ms Keller continues, "It identifies different mental health issues and crises, different mental illnesses and how to respond in crisis situations and get people that require support to professional help.

"It's really important for communities across Canada to really understand what mental health is, what mental illnesses is and how it can impact each and every one of us and how to respond in situations where someone is requiring additional support and being able to respond in a knowledgeable and safe manner as well.

"It's really important that we start to build these types of capacities within our communities that are located in rural areas across Canada."

Ms Keller says all training is required to be completed by 30 March 2019 and from feedback received so far most communities are already in the planning process so the first courses are expected to be offered in the new year.

She notes communities that have not yet been approved to receive training have been placed on a wait list and been provided resources on what they can do in their communities while the foundation works to secure funding so they can also receive training.