Helping Canadians respond to Mental Health Emergencies

Topics: Manitoba
June 20, 2019

People suffering from high stress levels, burnout and suicidal thoughts are at an all-time high in areas such as workplaces, schools, indigenous communities and among professional responders. To help those affected by these mental health emergencies it is critical that first aid for the mind is considered as important as first aid for the body.

The Red Cross Psychological First Aid course is a resiliency-building wellness program that prepares individuals to support themselves and others in coping with the effects of stress, loss, trauma and grief.

Winnipeg’s Christian Clavelle shares how, as a first aid instructor, psychological first aid has helped him significantly through the loss of his two younger siblings.  

“This thing actually works. It’s straightforward and there’s a lot of common sense in the training that has helped me to re-group,” said Clavelle, who operates Red Cross first aid instruction partner Canadian First-Aid Training.

“I had a lot of resiliency before as a person, because everybody goes through stressors, but these traumatic events took me off my game. What I found is that psychological first aid training really helped me focus on what I needed to do. Simple things like: sleeping, taking care of myself, drinking enough water, getting exercise, and focusing on my favourite pastimes and hobbies. Doing all those things has really been helpful ... it helped me get back to living.”

The Psychological First Aid program is officially launching in July. In preparation, 15 instructors have been trained in Manitoba and over 174 people in the province have taken the course during the soft launch.
 
Christian Clavelle at a Psychological First Aid training
Christian Clavelle at a Psychological First Aid training.
 
Look, Listen, Link, Live cards are at the core of the Psychological First Aid training
Look, Listen, Link, Live cards are at the core of the Psychological First Aid training.

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