Community Wellness and Community Helpers

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Upcoming Workshops

Community Helpers One-Day Wellness Program
This workshop is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention program funded by Alberta Health Services. The one-day 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. 

Held Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. Free. For Bow Valley residents.

To participate, contact Shannon Fountain, 403.762.1119 or shannon.fountain@banff.ca

ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training 
This two-day course will train you to intervene with someone who is suicidal. ASIST is an intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help you recognize and review risk and intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. For participants 18 and older. Held Thursday, March 14 & Friday, March 15.  Advance registration required.

For Bow Valley residents: $125
Free for those who have taken the Community Helpers Program (who are not associated with an organization)

To register, contact 403.762.1251 or  community.services@banff.ca

Community Helpers Program

The Community Helpers Program is a suicide prevention program that is targeted for youth and adults ages 12 and over. It can be delivered in both school and community settings.

This is not a counselling or crisis service. If this is an emergency please call 911. If you are needing to speak to someone, please call Health Link at 811.

The Community Helpers Program takes place in community-based settings (schools, workplaces, community organizations) and enhances community capacity for mental health through an assets based approach. Primarily, the Community Helpers Program targets youth and young adults between the ages of 12-30.

In every community there are people whom others naturally turn to for support. They are from all walks of life and are considered by others to be helpers. Helpers possess characteristics like empathy, care, and compassion. The Community Helpers Program identifies these helpers and offers training to strengthen their natural abilities. Helpers learn a variety of topics and skills including effective communication, self-care, coping with stress, knowing when to refer people to professional services, handling crisis situations, and suicide awareness. In addition to developing skills and increasing knowledge, Helpers are introduced to community services and professional supports. This connection bridges informal and formal supports in the community, enabling helpers to refer peers and family to expert support when needed.

Objectives of the Community Helpers Program include:

  • Bridge “formal” and “informal” support for young people
  • Early identification of young people who may be at risk
  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Provide young people and community with accurate information and resources
  • Link young people to existing service providers
  • Build community capacity for mental health promotion
  • Reduce stigma of mental health and suicide by raising awareness and understanding of the factors that contribute to poor mental health and suicide

Community Helpers is a pre-requisite to SafeTALK, MHFA and ASIST.

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Community Helpers



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SafeTALK Suicide



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ASIST



Mental Health

Mental Health First Aid


Community Helpers

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.

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safeTALK Suicide

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

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.

Mental Health First Aid

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.

Mental Health

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.