Veteran Jim DeMarce salutes the flag during the opening ceremonies for 2019 Canada Day at Gyro Park. Veterans and their families in the Penticton community will be able to take the Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community course Oct. 28 & 29. (Mark Brett - Western News)

First aid for mental health coming to Penticton for veterans, families

The course runs Oct. 28 & 29 at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre

Veterans in Penticton are going to be getting some first aid training they’ve likely never had – mental health first aid.

Mainland B.C. Military Family Resource Centre (MBMFRC) is bringing its mental health first aid program to the city for the first time on Oct. 28 and 29 at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre. The program is a component of the Veteran Family Program launched by Veteran Affairs Canada in April 2018.

READ MORE: Victoria veteran begs people to please not touch his service dog

“It is designed to support the health and well-being of families as they transition from military to post-service life. The Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community course gives medically released vets, RCMP and their families the tools to deal with mental health issues not uncommon among medically released vets,” states a release. “This includes getting out of ‘go mode,’ which is the state of being on high alert at all times when one is a soldier.”

The release states that Penticton is home to 16 military families, 320 legion members and a Veteran Affairs Canada officer, and that there are just under 3,000 veterans in the greater area. This includes 500 war service veterans and almost 1,500 Canadian Armed Forces vets and 800 RCMP vets.

The free two-day course is open to anyone and grants certification in Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community to those who complete it. The course runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and priority will be given to medically-released or releasing veterans and RCMP and families.

Registration must be done in advance by Oct. 24, and can be done by emailing veterans@bcmfrc.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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