We’re In This Together: MHFA During COVID-19

It’s difficult to know where to begin! To say we are living in an unprecedented time seems like an understatement. As all of us at the National Council create new daily routines, we think of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructors and the difference you have made in communities across the country. Please take good care of yourself – which includes recognizing that because of you almost 2 ½ million people are better equipped to help their family members and neighbors.

In a time of “social distancing,” you know that we are really creating physical distance. We are living ALGEE every day! Using all technologies, we can connect with people while maintaining physical distance. Now more than ever, we all need to listen, give each other reassurance and encourage help.

We have been struck by your comments in social media. In your true MHFA champion way, you have offered each other support and sought out ways to bring value to your communities. We know you have been frustrated that you could not teach MHFA classes because of the need for physical distance. We have heard you!

We immediately reached out to MHFA International to assess the possibility of quickly moving MHFA curriculum to a virtual opportunity. With the support of our colleagues in Australia, including the founders of MHFA, Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm, we are adapting the forthcoming blended learning version of MHFA into a fully virtual option. The blended learning version, which will allow First Aiders to take the first portion as an online self-paced course and the second portion in-person will be available to you soon. Fortunately, we had just completed the design of the online portion of the blended learning version so we are now able to adapt the in-person portion into a virtual class that you will be able to teach through Zoom.

Your First Aiders will be able to complete a two-hour self-paced class and then be ready to participate in your four-hour instructor-led class on Zoom. I know you will have many questions. We will have more information about this new virtual learning version in the coming weeks.

As always, please stay in touch with us by emailing ALGEE@TheNationalCouncil.org.

Stay safe!
The Mental Health First Aid Team