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MHFA Course Details

Course participants will learn how to recognize signs that a person may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health
crisis and encourage that person to:

  • Talk about declines in their mental well-being
  • Discuss professional and other supports that could help with recovery to improve mental well-being
  • Reach out to these supports
  • Assist in a mental health or substance use crisis
  • Use MHFA actions (A.L.G.E.E.S.) to maintain one’s own mental well-being.

Module 1 (2 hrs)


  • Introduction to the course
  • Introduction to MHFA actions (A.L.G.E.E.S.)

Module 2 (3.5 hrs)

Virtual Classroom

  • Practice applying A.L.G.E.E.S. to situations of declining mental well-being.
  • Guidelines for MHFA conversations with people from diverse cultures and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community

Module 3 (3.5 hrs)

Virtual Classroom

  • Discussion on using A.L.G.E.E.S. for self-care
  • Practice using MHFA actions in crises. Mental Health Crisis vs. Mental Health Emergency.

A.L.G.E.E.S. = Assess (for risk of suicide or harm) Listen (non-judgmentally)

Give (information and encouragement) Encourage (for professional help) Encourage (for self-help or other support)

We combine expertise and experience in the music industry, mindfulness, and neuropsychology to bring you a practical program you can complete from home. You will feel more confident dealing with your own mental health and supporting those around you.

Anyone over 18 can take MHFA training. No prior training or knowledge of mental health is mandatory. If you have a family member, friend or colleague experiencing a mental illness, this course will give you hands-on experience assisting them.

Catherine Harrison – Musician, Advocate, Scholar

Catherine has written, recorded, and performed original songs for 30 years. It is a deep part of who she is.

Leveraging an M.A. in Psychology, she strives to improve our collective mental health literacy and social fitness through education, reducing stigma, and facilitating open, courageous conversations. Over the past several years, Catherine has been active in illuminating the unique mental health challenges that musicians and crew experience and is currently a trusted advisor to several national and international non-profit music organizations.

Certified M.H.F.A. Facilitator, Liz VandenBygaart

Liz has been a personal and professional advocate of healthy living for over 35 years. She couples her experience with an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and professional training to support others in reaching optimal mental health. She actively leverages her total health expertise and mental health advocacy experience to contribute to the peer support community, emphasizing psychological safety, inclusion, and social responsibility. Liz believes in holistic health and well-being, including physical, emotional, psychological, and social fitness. She has decades of experience in corporate, non-profit, and health industries. Liz is certified in SMART Recovery, Trauma and Violence-Informed Care, Trauma-Informed Yoga, ASIST Suicide Prevention, and SAN’YAS Indigenous Cultural Safety.

More Course Details

The course addresses the most common and most stigmatized mental health disorders and includes signs/symptoms, risk factors, and crisis first aid for specific situations:

  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Overdose
  • Mood-Related Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Suicidal Behaviour
  • Anxiety and Trauma-related Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Panic Attack
  • Crisis First Aid for Acute Stress Reaction
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Psychotic Episode 

The MHFA course does not teach people how to be therapists. It does teach people how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems; provide initial help and guide a person toward appropriate professional help.

How much does it cost to certify my team?

$2,750 (+HST) for a group of 10. Each additional participant is $225.

Participant limit is 15 for virtual and 25 for in-person.

Special discounts are available.

Just as CPR training helps individuals with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps individuals assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as suicidal behaviour. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help is identified.

Individuals with Mental Health First Aid certification learn a single action plan that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports that can be applied in many situations. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health problems. These build their understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families and allow them to learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

An important component of Mental Health First Aid training is the opportunity to practice the intervention strategy rather than to just learn about it. This simple experience can make it easier to apply the knowledge in a real-life situation. In addition to crisis interventions, participants learn how to have confident and effective conversations about mental health, regardless of whether someone is in crisis or not. This includes recognizing the signs and symptoms of declining mental well-being or noticing a change in someone’s behaviour and starting a conversation with that person.

Contact us to reserve your spot or book a private group session.