Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Polytechnic broadens employee mental health first aid training

Student support training expanded to 150 employees at four major campuses

June 28, 2016 - This spring Saskatchewan Polytechnic partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to offer Mental Health First Aid training to 150 employees across the institution.

The course, delivered by a CMHA trainer, educates participants on how to provide help to youth and young adults developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The program covers signs and symptoms of common mental health challenges and crisis situations; information about effective interventions and treatments; and ways to access professional help.

The training was first offered to employees in 2013. Seen as a positive student support, a wider roll-out has been implemented across Saskatchewan Polytechnic's academic and service areas this spring.

"We are building on what was started a few years ago. Training 150 colleagues across our four campus cities in the space of several weeks is an important step in enhancing supports to our students," says Tobi Strohan, associate vice-president, Student Services. "By fostering understanding of mental health and related supports for faculty and staff who interact with our students every day, we hope to positively impact student wellness and student success. We see it as building a network of student supports across our institute."

The course Mental Health First Aid for Adults Who Interact with Youth - Information at a Glance is a total of 14 hours, delivered over two days. The first courses were offered in Prince Albert and Moose Jaw at the end of May. The course wrapped up in Regina and Saskatoon earlier this month. Sask Polytech plans to continue the training in the next academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves 27,000 distinct students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

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