Mental Health First Aid for the Veteran Community

Veterans Affairs Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada partner to provide Mental Health First Aid courses for the Veteran community.

OTTAWA, May 5, 2017 /CNW/ - Veterans, like other Canadians, can experience feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and low self-esteem. In particular, Veterans and families living with operational stress injuries, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, can benefit from extra supports. That is why Veterans Affairs Canada has partnered with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to strategically invest in tools that can help Veterans, their families and support networks.

Through a partnership between Veterans Affairs Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course, adapted specifically to the needs of Veterans, is available free of charge to the Veteran community.

Based on the principles of physical first aid, this two-day session helps participants learn how to recognize a mental health problem and how to respond appropriately to a mental health crisis until the crisis is resolved or professional help can be obtained.

Now being offered at various locations across Canada, the Veteran community will have access to an important tool tailored to address their unique realities. To find out more or for details on upcoming training sessions, visit Mental Health First Aid.


"We all talk about ending the stigma associated with mental illness. One of the most effective ways of doing that is educating people. Veterans face unique challenges and this program has been tailored to train family and caregivers on how to help. I am proud that my Department is partnering with the Mental Health Commission of Canada in an effort to help those who struggle."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

"Now, more than ever we are in the position to equip the Veteran community with lifesaving tools and training. The interest for these courses is exceeding demand. Participants tell us they are able to share experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Veterans and their families have expressed gratitude for having concrete tools and resources to manage their mental health more effectively. The MHCC is tremendously proud to be able to work with Veterans Affairs Canada to help Veterans in need."
Louise Bradley, President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

"When I took your Mental Health First Aid course for the Veteran community I was utterly amazed.  I recognized so much and I feel so very lucky to have taken it. Your course will save lives."
2017 Veteran community MHFA course participant

Quick Facts

  • Mental Health First Aid was developed in Australia by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm in 2001. Since then it has spread to over 20 countries.
  • MHFA Veteran Community was piloted in early 2016 with great success. Participants report the training is informative and practical, with real-world applications.
  • Since June 2016, over 300 people from across Canada have been certified in MHFA Veteran Community training.
  • As of March 31, twenty-one courses have been held from British Columbia to Newfoundland.
  • Veterans Affairs Canada has a well-established national network of around 4,000 mental health professionals who deliver mental health services to Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other operational stress injuries (OSI).
  • Veterans Affairs Canada funds a network of 11 OSI clinics across the country (10 outpatient and 1 inpatient).

Associated Links

Mental Health Commission of Canada


SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information: Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468,; Hélène Côté, Senior Communications Advisor, Public Affairs, Mental Health Commission of Canada, Office: 613.683.3952, Mobile: 613.857.0840,


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