Canada given the green light on mental health first aid funding

Farm Credit Canada has extended and expanded its support for a programme that provides rural and agricultural communities the ability to offer "mental health first aid training".

12 August 2019, at 11:26am

Last year, with financial support from Farm Credit Canada, the Do More Agriculture Foundation launched a pilot programme through its Community Fund for Mental Health First Aid, to provide agricultural communities across Canada mental health first aid training.

That programme has been extended for a second year and Farm Credit Canada has increased its financial support for the programme from 50,000 dollars to 100,000 dollars.

Speaking to Farmscape, Glenda Heavisides, a Community Investment Consultant with Farm Credit Canada, says the goal was to help remove the stigma around mental health, build resilience and promote general awareness of mental health, encourage dialogue and enable people to seek support if they need it.

"The programme itself is a two day course and it is a certification provided at no cost to the participants," says Heavisides.

"Our goals and objectives through the course were really to get the conversation started, to create a network of volunteer lookouts that could really be part of that community, to identify if help was required and to direct those folks to more resources if they needed it.

"The pilot year went great. The feedback Do More Ag received was very positive.

"There were over 100 communities that applied which was a clear indication that there was a need for the training.

"There are now 12 communities and 236 participants that received the mental health first aid certification and are now the volunteer lookouts for their community.

"We accomplished our goals through this, which was really to get the conversation started, provide more access to mental health literacy and to show people where resources were available."

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