FCC Invests in Mental Health First Aid Training

Farmscape for June 20, 2018

Farm Credit Canada has partnered with the Do More Agriculture Foundation to create a network of mental health first aiders who can identify and support producers coping with difficult or unfortunate circumstances.
Under a one year pilot project Farm Credit Canada is contributing 50 thousand dollars to the not-for-profit Do More Agriculture Foundation which is focused on promoting mental health awareness and well-being in Canadian agriculture.
Darren Howden, a Senior Vice President Operations for Prairie with Farm Credit Canada, says the funding will be used to provide mental health first aid training, teaching what mental health issues are and what they aren't, how to recognize them and how to deal with those challenges.

Clip-Darren Howden-Farm Credit Canada:
The more people we have out there in rural Canada that understand what it's about and how to step through some of these challenges, the better.
To equate it, I didn't know what mental health first aid was a year ago.
The way it was described to me was that, if somebody walked in with a big gash in their arm, everybody would know exactly what to do because we've all taken some form of physical first aid or St. John's first aid.
You put compression on it, you take the person to get professional help at a hospital or a doctor.
What mental health first aid is is very similar but in terms of from the mental aspect.
So, if somebody came in with having a panic attack or a breakdown of some sort, what the mental health first aid does is it shows you how to assess that person at the moment, how to make sure they're safe and also how to take them to get professional help.
It's not about saving people.
It's about making sure they're safe and making sure they get the assistance and help they need.

Howden says FCC staff have reported, since taking that training, when they see warning signs when talking to customers or even co-workers that they are confident enough to ask the next set of questions to see where they can help.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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