June 2016 – As a valued Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Benefit Plan Member, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre has been chosen by the OHA, in partnership with Desjardins Insurance, is one of only six hospitals in the province, and the only hospital in the Northeast LHIN, to participate in its Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) pilot program. This program was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is considered the ‘gold standard’ in the field. The intent of the training is to help managers and supervisors recognize and deal with the increasing incidents of mental health issues experienced by their staff.
Many people have had physical first aid training to learn how to help an injured person while waiting for paramedics to arrive. Similarly, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program trains participants to assist someone with mental health problems until appropriate support is found or until their immediate crisis is resolved.
Evidence has shown that individuals who participate in the MHFA program have significantly greater recognition of the most common mental health illnesses and problems. They also have decreased social distance from people with mental health issues, increased confidence in providing help to others, and a demonstrated increase in helpful actions.
“Where mental health issues can be ‘normalized’ as common health problems, stigma is reduced and people are more likely to talk about and seek help for their conditions. The MHFA program teaches attendees to recognize the symptoms of mental health disorders and help prevent them from becoming more serious. Managers and supervisors with this training will be better able to promote the recovery of good mental health in the workplace by providing support to employees in distress,” stated Jo-Anne Palkovits, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre. “We are excited to have been selected by the OHA and Desjardins Insurance to participate in this pilot project.”
St. Joseph’s Health Centre oversees the operation of St. Joseph’s Villa (a 128-bed long term care home) and St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre (a 64-bed continuing care hospital) in Sudbury, and Villa St. Gabriel Villa (a 128-bed long term care home) in Chelmsford. The management teams of all four organizations will be participating in the Mental Health First Aid program on June 8th and 9th at the St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre site.