Mental health course to be held in West Kelowna for veterans and families

The course is free and released veterans will be given first priority

The Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre believes that the strongest force is family and, for that reason, is presenting in West Kelowna its mental health first aid course for medically released veterans and RCMP, their family members, and anyone who provides service to them.

Kelowna is home to a Veteran Affairs Canada office that has served more than 1,000 military veterans, as well as the British Columbia Dragoons, a military unit. Approximately 120 military families live in the Okanagan area, mostly in Kelowna.

Veteran Community is one component of a new Veteran Family Program launched last April which BCMFRC delivers on behalf of VAC. The Veteran Family Program supports the health and well-being of families as they transition from military to civilian life.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. In any given year, one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.

RELATED: Lake Country mental health facility takes holistic approach to recovery

It’s not uncommon for people to learn regular first aid to prepare them for family medical emergencies such as burns and sprains. The mental health first aid course takes that preparedness to the next level, providing valuable, potentially life-saving information and crisis intervention skills to manage mental health challenges.

A range of mental health issues will be covered by the course, including mood, anxiety, trauma-related, psychotic and substance use disorders. The course will also teach skills for dealing with drug overdose, suicidal behaviour, panic attacks, psychosis and acute stress reaction.

Ultimately, the course will enable participants to build the skills and confidence necessary to engage in effective conversations about mental health, help them recognize the most common mental health problems and illnesses, increase their comfort level with, and willingness to, help others, and decrease the stigma and discrimination around mental health problems and illnesses.

RELATED: Rockets team up with Canadian Mental Health Association

“Mental health issues are often met with significant stigma in the world. That’s what’s so great about Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community because the course is about helping others, participants don’t have to worry about standing out as having a problem if they attend. In this way, the course is truly non-threatening for those who’d like to learn more about dealing with these issues,” said Tracy Cromwell, BCMFRC executive director.

Although designed for medically released veterans and RCMP and their family members, the two-day course is free and open to anyone, and grants certification in Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community to those who complete it. It takes place March 16 and 17, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Gellatly Room of the Holiday Inn West Kelowna. Space is limited with priority given to medically released/releasing veterans and RCMP, and families. Register by March 14 by contacting veterans@bcmfrc.com.

To find out more, go to: www.cafconnection.ca

Just Posted

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ plan going forward

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read