iStudents for Mental Health has organized to offer the opportunity for future librarians & information professionals to receive Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) occupational training through the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).
Information professionals serve people who experience mental distress at times. Vulnerable populations seek out our institutions as safe spaces, we serve patrons who face mental stressors in the pursuit of their goals, and our institutions or the information housed within, sometimes cause distress. All of these circumstances can, and do, lead to mental health distress and crises developing in the workplaces where we intend to build our careers. We also believe that information professionals in all disciplines play important roles in dismantling stigma by facilitating access to valid information.
In 2017-18, funding provided by our Master of Information Student Council (MISC) allowed us to cover the full cost of MHFA training for 4 students of the Master of Information program. As of the 2018-19 year, the UofT Faculty of Information have recognized the value in MH-related occupational training for future librarians & information professionals, and we are pleased to announce that funding will be provided by the Faculty of Information Office of the Dean, Wendy Duff, to cover the full cost of training for another 4 students in the 2018-19 cycle.
Read below for more information on MHFA training through the MHCC.
A relatively new curriculum, designed in 2010, the MHCC has developed and tailored a range of MHFA occupational training courses for public service workers to know how to provide assistance to a patron “developing a mental health problem, experiencing the worsening of an existing mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis. To know how to Recognize a change in behaviour, Respond with a confident conversation, and Guide to appropriate resources and support.” – The goal, to develop a level of compassion & understanding of the complexities surrounding mental health, and the complexities of support services.
The MHCC offers two-day MHFA training sessions throughout the year, in Toronto and across Canada. Course types include Basic, Adults Who Interact With Youth, First Nations, Seniors, Veteran Community, and more (MHFA Course Types). The cost of training ranges $150-$350.