Community Wellness and Community Helpers
Community wellness is based on a public health approach with two assumptions. First, most illnesses are preventable, including various types of mental illness. Second, the community itself contains many solutions to its own health needs and already has many techniques to encourage resilience and wellness.
There are many programs for community wellness, including Community Helpers, SafeTALK Suicide, ASIST, Grief Recovery Information Session, and Mental Health First Aid.
With minimal training, people can connect with their inner source of resilience. With the right kind of attention, healing begins. We practice these skills.
Culturally-specific strategies enhance a community's ability to recover. To tap into this cultural wisdom, we identify those in the community who are already recovering and thriving. We learn from them, adopt and adapt strategies, and help them share their experiences with others in their community.
How do you define community? Webster defines community as "an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location." Therefore, we participate in all types of communities including our own family. No matter what community we're a part of we want our members to be successful and that's why community wellness programs are so important.
The most effective community wellness programs are multifaceted and address: physical, mental, emotional, environmental, social, spiritual, and occupational health. One challenge communities or organizations have is finding programs to address anything other than physical health (e.g. fitness and nutrition) to improve mental and emotional health. Help strengthen your members' family and you'll strengthen your community.
The program teaches you how to help someone in your life experiencing a mental health issue and introduces you to free resources in the Bow Valley so you can refer them to the appropriate place.
The objectives of the Community Helpers program are to:
- Bridge the formal and informal support networks
- Promote early identification of at-risk person
- Assist with problems/concerns
- Provide community members with accurate information
- Link to existing service providers
- Identify gaps in mental health needs
This one-day workshop in mental health awareness and suicide prevention is funded by Alberta Health Services.
SafeTALK Suicide alert training teaches you about warning signs indicating the risk of suicide. The workshop emphasizes the importance or recognizing the signs, communicating with the person at risk, and getting help/resources. The safeTALK workshop is three-hour certification course. 16 years old and older.
Over the course of their training, safeTALK participants will learn to:
- Notice and respond to situations where suicide thoughts might be present
- Recognize that invitations for help are often overlooked
- Move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide
- Apply the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and Keep Safe
- Know community resources and how to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to them for further help.
Led by a certified safeTALK instructor.
ASIST is Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. This two-day course will train you to intervene with someone who is suicidal. This is an intensive, interactive and practice dominated course designed to help you recognized and review risk and intervene to present the immediate risk of suicide. 18 years old and older.
The goal of ASIST is to enhance a caregiver's abilities to assist a person at risk to avoid suicide. By completing the workshop, participants will be able to:
- Recognize that caregivers and persons at risk are affected by personal and societal attitudes about suicide;
- Discuss suicide with a person at risk in a direct manner;
- Identify risk alerts and develop a safe plan related to them;
- Demonstrate the skills required to intervene with a person at risk of suicide;
- List the types of resources available to a person at risk of suicide, including themselves;
- Make a commitment to improving community resources and networking; and,
- Recognize that suicide prevention is broader than suicide intervention and, includes life promotion and self-care for persons at risk and for caregivers.
It is by far the most widely used, acclaimed and researched suicide intervention training workshop in the world.
Led by certified ASIST instructor.
This support group helps you address your old beliefs about dealing with loss, which losses have affected your life, and helps you take actions on unresolved emotions still causing you pain.
This is not a drop-in group, but is taken in an eight-week group setting led by a certified grief recovery specialist. Reading and writing assignments are part of the process. All materials provided.
One in three Canadians will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. The earlier a problem is detected and treated, the better the outcome. Mental Health First Aid Canada gives people the skills to provide that early help that is so important in recovery.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.
The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague.
The program does not teach people how to be therapist. It does teach people how to:
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
- Provide intimal help.
- Guide a person toward appropriate professional help.
MHFA aims to:
- Preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others.
- Provide help to prevent the mental health problem from developing into a more serious state.
- Promote the recovery of good mental health.
- Provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem.