OPSEU Coalition of Racialized Workers

OPSEU/SEFPO CoRW – Member Mental Health and First Aid (MHFA) Training

OPSEU/SEFPO CoRW – Member Mental Health and First Aid (MHFA) Training

OPSEU Coalition of Racialized Workers logo - SEFPO Coalition des travailleurs racialises logo
OPSEU Coalition of Racialized Workers logo - SEFPO Coalition des travailleurs racialises logo

OPSEU/SEFPO’s Coalition of Racialized Workers (CoRW) invites you to submit your application to participate in an upcoming Member Mental Health & First Aid Training (MHFA).

Since the start of COVID-19, Black, Indigenous and racialized members have been disproportionately impacted. Government and local public health data both continue to show that many of the COVID-19 hot spots are located within predominantly Black, Indigenous and racialized communities. In addition, OPSEU/SEFPO members who live and work in these communities have faced greater inequities when it comes to testing and the vaccine roll-out. Many have also been at the frontline of the pandemic, unable to take time off or work from home because they are deemed essential workers. As a result, there has been a rise in anxiety, stress, burnout and other mental health related issues. Research has also shown that social determinants of health (non-medical factors that influence and affect health outcomes) have had an important influence on health inequities. It is important to address these in order to improve the health and well being of Black, Indigenous and racialized members. This is also key in reducing any longstanding health inequities that affect people from these communities in being active union members.

MHFA training:

  • Provides front-line workers and members supporting members (ex. Stewards) with greater confidence in proactively responding to workplace stress and trauma during COVID-19.
  • Increases participants’ knowledge of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and psychotic episodes.
  • Trains participants on how to respond to someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
  • Works to eliminate attitudes about people living with mental illnesses.
  • Assists front-line workers and members to effectively  respond to issues such as accommodation, or return-to-work when mental health is a factor
  • Improves participants’ mental health

MHFA is a certified training program from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is also part of The National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

Ontario Shores has been secured to facilitate this very important training. Ontario Shores is a globally award-winning mental health hospital and a leader in providing community education programs about mental health and its prevention. During COVID-19, more than 80% of employees report that they are experiencing mental health problems as result of stress, burn out, racism, discrimination in addition to the growing demands of life in a pandemic world.

Training Format:

  • MHFA training will be offered virtually via Zoom
  • MHFA training will offered over an 8-hour training session with a 2-hour self-directed learning module (to be pre-completed prior to training day).
  • All participants will receive a resource guide with additional information beyond the training, as well as a Certification similar to Standard First Aid CPR.
  • The program will be offered with two date options with a maximum of 15 participants per session.


Option # 1: Tuesday December 7, 2021, 9AM – 5PM

Option #2: Wednesday December 8, 2021, 9AM – 5PM

The training will be offered December 7 & December 8, 2021 (choose one option) and spots are limited per session. Participants must identify which session they would like to attend.

The application process is open to all OPSEU/SEFPO’s members who identify as racialized as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Commission Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination. The Commission describes people as “racialized person” or “racialized group” instead of the more outdated and inaccurate terms “racial minority”, “visible minority”, “person of colour” or “non-White”.

If you would like to be considered for this training, please complete the attached application form and submit no later than   Thursday November 18, 2021 to equity@opseu.org

CoRW MHFA Training Callout Application_All Regions