Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person who may be experiencing a crisis or a decline in their mental well-being. The course is designed for people who have frequent contact with older adults, for example, family members, friends, public and private caregivers, community health workers, and volunteers.
Course participants will learn how to:
recognize signs that an older adult may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a crisis
have conversations that encourage an older adult to: - talk about declines in their mental well-being - discuss professional and other supports that could help with recovery - reach out to these supports
assist with helpful actions in a mental health or substance use crisis
use MHFA actions to maintain one’s own mental well-being.
The Mental Health First Aid Action Plan
Things that a first aider needs to know to help an older adult: - The relationship between mental health problems and aging - Signs of declining mental well-being and of crisis situations - Helpful resources for older adults living with a mental health and/or substance use problem and the people who care for these individuals - How to communicate effectively with older adults, including those from marginalized populations - Roles and responsibilities of people who assist an older adult
Practise applying MHFA actions to: - Common disorders: anxiety, depression, or substance use problems - Crisis situations: suicidal thoughts and behaviours, onset of dementia, reaction to a traumatic event, or severe effects from substance use.