As we continue to move through 2022, you may start thinking about the benefits of hosting a Mental Health First Aid course for your business, organization or maybe even within your community. You may be desiring a change, and a Mental Health First Aid course may be the perfect opportunity to refocus and provide a meaningful training that will better encompass goodwill and enhance mental health awareness. Once you have decided to host a Mental Health First Aid course, the question remains – what delivery method would best suit your audience?
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing has created a variety of delivery methods for the Mental Health First Aid program to better serve the needs of individuals taking the course. Both the Adult and Youth versions of the course are now available in three delivery methods. These methods are Blended-Virtual, Blended In-Person, and In-Person. All delivery methods now have completely updated materials, videos, statistics and PowerPoints. Let’s talk about the benefits of each delivery method and which would best serve your targeted audience.
As COVID-19 has evolved the way we work and learn, Blended-Virtual courses became available in 2020 to meet the needs of participants who desired the ability to social distance while still engaging in an online, virtual classroom. In a Blended-Virtual course, First Aiders complete a 2-hour, self-paced prework (done in their own time) and then participate in a 4.5 to 5.5-hour, instructor-led class using videoconferencing technology. Benefits of a Blended-Virtual course also include the freedom of participants not traveling to in-person classes and being able to attend the virtual course in the comfort of their own space.
Blended In-Person courses are designed for increased flexibility. Mental Health First Aid Blended In-Person courses are again, 2-hour, self-paced prework (done in their own time) followed by 4.5 to 5.5-hour Instructor-led class that is done in-person. Some of the benefits of a Blended In-Person course involve a lesser need for participants to have strong internet connection or computer skills. There are also more opportunities for one-on-one conversations. Because this is a Blended In-Person course, the time is split between 2-hour prework (done online), and in-person time in class which not only breaks up the delivery method, but also allows a change in the way the participants learn.
In-Person courses are better designed for a hands-on learning environment. Learners will receive their training as an 8-hour, instructor-led, in-person course. Unlike the blended courses in which materials are completely digital, paperback manuals are provided in hard copy for participants to take home in an in-person course. There is also no expensive computer equipment or internet connection needed for participants. This can be much more beneficial to those who struggle with technology or do not have internet and equipment readily available.
Choosing the right delivery method will depend greatly on the needs of the participants and will vary between different groups or organizations wanting to get trained in Mental Health First Aid. It is best to consider the three different types of delivery methods and what will best benefit and engage participants in learning. If you ever have any doubts, discuss your concerns with us and we can help you navigate questions and choices!