PEI

Why P.E.I. librarians need to pay attention to the mental health of their patrons

Library staff on P.E.I. will soon receive training from a new program being designed by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

'Respectful interactions, how to best help people'

The training is part of how P.E.I. libraries are working to make all people feel comfortable using their services. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Library staff on P.E.I. will soon receive training from a new program being designed by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The training will help staff deal with people suffering from mental health problems.

"It's just part of, in general, offering better services to the public: respectful interactions, how to best help people," said librarian Beth Clinton.

"We've done training in the past on populations such as LGBTQ populations, or we've done some training on newcomers. This is the next area we were looking at to enhance our service."

P.E.I. libraries aren't dealing with the same level of addictions, homelessness, and mental health issues that larger urban libraries are, said Clinton, but getting ahead of any need is always good. 

Staff in Charlottetown, Summerside and Montague have already been trained on administering naloxone and have the kits to help with anyone with a fentanyl overdose. Although Clinton said no incidents have been reported yet. 

The details of the mental health course are still being worked out, but Clinton expects the one-day training will happen in the next two months.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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