• Mona Cooley


Before answering the question, here are a few questions for yourself.

Do you know the signs when a person is experiencing a decline in their mental well-being?

Would you know how to help someone whether a family member or an associate at work was having a mental health or substance use crisis?

Do you know how to have conversations that encourages a person to talk about their mental well-being?

What professionals or other supports could you provide to help someone with recovery to improve mental well-being?

Have you or a friend had a conversation about one's own mental well-being?

If you said NO to any of them, ask yourself what if you were in an unexpected situation, would you know what to do?


  1. You would know the 6 actions of mental health first aid ( ALGEES) to help someone

2. Identify the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours that are key to effectively applying MHFA actions when needed.

3. Able to describe the recovery to improved mental well-being

4. Identify the range of changes ( or signs) that may indicate a decline in mental


5. Identify the risk factors that influence mental well-being.

6. Use verbal and nonverbal communication tactics for opening a MHFA conversation to build rapport and trust with another person.

7. Use open questions as a platform for encouraging people to consider professional and other supports.

After our daughter being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we learned about signs and symptoms. What we had to learn through trial and error was about the verbal and nonverbal communication needed to have effective, healthy conversations to have positive outcomes. As my daughter said to me when I thought I was helping her - she said " mom you don't listen, and by the way quit telling me what to do and help me problem solve". Listening is one skill that is lacking in our conversations. When people don't feel heard and understood, they get frustrated with us and then we are wondering what is wrong.

MHFA course: Saturday November 27 and Sunday November 28, from 1- 4:30 PM each day to learn "how to" recognize signs of declining mental well-being or mental health or substance use crisis and to be able to have conversations to encourage others to reach out to professionals or other supports.

The next step is to: complete self-directed module 1 ( 2 hours) prior to participating to complete module 2 & 3. 8 spots available.

To register: You can email mona.cooley@coolfamilysolutions.com or call 403.512.5558


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