How to Save a Life

Do you know what to do in an emergency? You’ve just witnessed a car accident or someone in a restaurant near you is having a heart attack. Do you know how to react?

First Aid training has been saving lives for years and is mandatory at many jobs now. Often times there will be someone in the crowd with the training to help someone who is choking, having an allergic reaction, or other emergency physical situation.

But what about when someone is experiencing a panic attack? Or a psychotic episode? Do you know what to do when someone is suicidal or has suffered an overdose?

There’s training for that too.

Wait, what?

Recently Amelia and I (Alisha here. Hi!) attended the Canadian Mental Health Commission’s Mental Health First Aid Training course here in St. John’s at the beautiful Lester’s Farm Chalet.

The course was being taught to workers in the offshore oil industry and there were a couple extra seats available

Nearly the whole group of 20 were shocked to discover that the course has been taught for more than 15 years and that more than 200,000 people have taken it since 2007.

What’s it all about?

The course, taught by professionals with mental health experience of their own, prepared this humble group of people to deal with mental health situations from moderate to severe in an interactive two-day session.

Afterwards, I think everyone went away with less stigma, more understanding, and a feeling of being able to recognize signs and symptoms and how to react in situations.

It’s all of our responsibility to be aware of those around us and whether they’re in crisis. This course offers that understanding.

What’s Next

Next up, read my personal experience of the course and how it opened my eyes to all kinds of things we can do to help those with mental illness.

If you would like to take the mental health first aid course, contact the Mental Health Commission of Canada and remember, there’s more than one way to save a life.