Mental health first aid course for 'everyone'

A new course on first aid for mental health has two goals, says St. John Ambulance.

'Everyone is affected by it'

The course covers how to recognize and deal with mental health emergencies. (Janice Grant/CBC)

Prince Edward Islanders are being offered Mental Health First Aid Canada's course by St. John Ambulance for the first time next month.

Diana Parks, director of learning for St. John Ambulance in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, said the course both offers practical knowledge, and increases awareness of mental health issues.

"Everyone should take mental health first aid," said Parks.

"I don't think mental health chooses a particular type of person. Everyone is affected by it in some way or another."

One in three Canadians will experience mental problems during their lifetime, she said.

Monthly courses planned

The two-day course will provide skills and knowledge regarding identifying signs and symptoms of mental health problems, how to provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward the appropriate professional help.

The first course will be held Aug. 12-13 in Charlottetown. People interested can register by email or through the St. John Ambulance web site.

Parks hopes the course will be offered monthly.