OTTAWA, Sept. 12, 2018 /CNW/ - The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) today announced the launch of its new mental health literacy training specific to police through a new agreement with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is training for those helping a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The new adaption called MHFA Police was developed in partnership with police services and mental health experts from across Canada and responds to calls to have more mental health resources available for police.
"We are very pleased to be continuing our work with the OPP in our role as a trusted advisor on mental health and wellness," said Louise Bradley, President & CEO of MHCC. "The development of practical resources like this are made possible through the support of the Government of Canada and we are proud to do our part in better equipping police to serve our communities."
"The OPP has made mental health a priority for our people and our communities. We continue to research and implement programs that may assist our officers whether they are focusing on improving their own mental health and wellness or working with a community member experiencing a mental health crisis. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with mental health experts, such as the MHCC, to continue to improve our members' education and awareness," said OPP Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes.
Over 6,000 OPP personnel will be trained in MHFA Police over the next two to three years through a train-the-trainer model. The MHCC will be training the OPP's first instructors later this month.
"Our police services are increasingly recognizing the benefits of improved mental health tools for their own personnel and their communities," continued Bradley. "MHFA Police is one more example of the MHCC working together with community partners to improve the mental health of Canadians."
MHFA is delivered as an in-person course over two consecutive days; MHFA Police is delivered as a blended online and one day in-class course given the nature and demands of police work.
MHCC has trained over 300,000 Canadians in MHFA since 2007.
Approximately 25 OPP instructors will be trained this fall; a total of approximately 50 instructors over the next two years.