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How Mental Health First Aid Training Saves Employers Money

As a responsible employer, you provide a physically safe environment for your workers. But what about their psychological health and safety? Are you doing enough to help your staff be their best selves at work? Supporting your employees’ mental health with Mental Health First Aid training, can improve productivity, cut down on absences, and increase worker retention.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five (20%) of Canadians, will suffer from a significant mental health condition at least once in their lifetime. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about mental health issues, however, things are changing. Media campaigns and educational courses are bringing awareness to how many Canadians are affected by mental health conditions.  These initiatives are taking away the stigma that prevents those suffering from mental health issues from seeking help.

The cost of a disability leave for a mental illness is about double the cost of a leave due to a physical illness. A growing body of international evidence demonstrates that promotion, prevention, and early intervention initiatives show positive returns on investment. Smart employers provide Mental Health First Aid training in the workplace because they want to:

  • Reduce employee absenteeism
  • Reduce medical and disability costs
  • Improve employee retention
  • Improve employee morale
  • Reduce stigma around mental health issues

Safe + Sound offers public Mental Health First Aid training in Coquitlam and we also do onsite training in organizations all over Metro Vancouver. If you’d like more information about our public courses or private training for your team, please contact us.

Mental Health First Aid training in Coquitlam:

Register online for June 12&13 Mental Health First Aid in Coquitlam ($190.00+GST)


20170512_Awards of Excellence

Tri-Cities Champions for Young Children Awards of Excellence

On May 11 2017 I attended the Tri-Cities Champions for Young Children Awards of Excellence event at the Hard Rock Casino. Presented by the Tri-Cities Early Childhood Development Committee, this event is a celebration of those who have improved the lives of children aged birth to 6 years and their families in the Tri-Cities.

As I looked around the room during the evening, I was happy to see that many of the nominees, award winners and guests are clients of Safe + Sound. Over the last 17 years we have had the pleasure of providing Red Cross First Aid training to thousands of childcare workers, parents and babysitters, most of whom live and work in the Tri-Cities.

I was particularly thrilled when Tazeen Bharucha (SD43 Strongstart) receive the award in the individual Champion category. Tazeen was one my children’s’ preschool teachers and it would be hard to find a kinder and more dedicated childcare worker. It was also wonderful to see Diane Lee from Tri-Cities Child Care Resource & Referral Program receive the Leadership Champion award – well deserved recognition of 35 years work in the childcare field.

Thank you to Trish Mandewo from Vancouver Tumblebus for nominating Safe + Sound First Aid Training for an award at this event. It was an honour to be in the same room as some of the most caring, loving, creative, people in our community; those who have dedicated their lives and their careers to protecting the most vulnerable among us – our little ones.

Kudos to Susan Foster from MCFD and all of the other event organizers, for providing a platform to recognize and inspire those in the field of childcare. Congratulations to all and keep up the good work!


Nitroglycerin or Aspirin – which is best for a heart attack victim?

When a person is experiencing a heart attack, should you give them Aspirin or Nitroglycerin?

If you suspect that a person is having a heat attack, the most important thing to do is to call 9-1-1 immediately. Don’t do anything before calling 9-1-1.

Heart attacks are usually caused by atherosclerosis (the build up of plaque on the artery walls), and complicated by thrombosis (blood clots) in the heart vessels. Anti thrombotic treatment should happen as soon as possible after a heart attack. Aspirin (ASA) helps slow down the formation of clots.

It is recommended that a person experiencing a heart attack chew 160 to 325 mg of ASA – either two low-dose (81mg) tablets or one regular strength (325 mg) tablet.

Taking ASA is not advised during a stroke, because not all strokes are caused by blood clots. Most strokes are caused by clots, but some are caused by ruptured blood vessels. Taking ASA could potentially make these bleeding strokes more severe.

Nitroglycerin “Nitro” is a symptom relief medication and does not target the underlying cause of the heart attack. First Aiders should focus on helping the person take ASA over nitroglycerin, as long as there is no contraindication. Remember to ask “Are you allergic to aspirin?”

For more information on giving aspirin during a heart attack or stroke please follow this link:


Black Friday First Aid & CPR Training BOGO Special!

Register for a Red Cross First Aid & CPR course and bring a friend or family member to the course for FREE!


Valid for registrations made between November 25 and November 27 2016.

Applies to courses taking place between November 25 and December 30 2016.

Subject to availability and our standard terms and conditions.

What to do:

Choose your first aid/CPR course

Contact us and tell us:

– Your name

– Your phone number

– The name and date of the course you’d like to register for

– Quote discount code: First Aid BOGO

We’ll contact you after the weekend to get you registered!

Payment is required on registration (Visa or MasterCard)

We hope you’ll take us up on this great offer!

Close-up of a devastated young man holding his head in his hands and a group of friends in a supportive pose around him

Why smart employers provide Mental Health First Aid Training in the workplace

The Cost of Mental Illness in Canada

According to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) the economic burden of mental illness in Canada is estimated at $51 billion per year. This includes health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in health-related quality of life.

  • Individuals with a mental illness are much less likely to be employed. Unemployment rates are as high as 70% to 90% for people with the most severe mental illnesses.
  • In any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental health problems. This includes:
    • approximately 355,000 disability cases due to mental and/or behavioural disorders plus
    • approximately 175,000 full-time workers absent from work due to mental illness.
  • The cost of a disability leave for a mental illness is about double the cost of a leave due to a physical illness.
  • A small proportion of all health care patients account for a disproportionately large share of health care costs. Patients with high mental health costs incur over 30% more costs than other high-cost patients.
  • A growing body of international evidence demonstrates that promotion, prevention, and early intervention initiatives show positive returns on investment.

Why smart employers provide Mental Health First Aid Training in the workplace

Key findings from a Pan-Canadian Survey conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association show that ‘Mental Health First Aid’ is by far the resource most known by respondents.

The most effective tools according to respondents are CMHA workplace mental health workshops, Workplace Strategies for Mental Health (free online resources), and The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Respondents indicate that the best methods for learning about workplace mental health tools and resources are through in-person seminars, workshops and presentations.

Respondents indicate the need for more education about the tools and resources that exist to support workplace mental health. Also needed are organizational cultural shifts that exemplify acceptance of mental health concerns as a legitimate health issue.

Contact us today for information about onsite Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace.

Follow this link to read the full CMHA report:  Workplace Mental Health in Canada – Findings from a Pan-Canadian Study


9 Tips for a Safe Halloween

Follow these tips on Halloween night to help ensure your family has a fun and safe night of trick or treating!

1. Young children should be accompanied by a parent.

2. Older kids should trick or treat in groups and have a cell phone with them. Discuss your child’s route with them and what time they will be home at.

3. Instruct children to walk on the sidewalk not the street. Tell them to go up one side of the street and then the other and avoid criss-crossing the street.

4. Be seen in the dark. Encourage kids to wear lighter coloured and or reflective clothing or apply reflective tape to your child’s jacket. Take a flashlight.

5. Use glow sticks instead of candles. Wigs and costumes are highly flammable and glow sticks are perfect for illuminating Jack-o-lanterns.

6. Tell children to only visit residences with a porch light on and never to enter a stranger’s home. Teach them to politely accept candy and promptly leave.

7. Keep costume hems short to avoid tripping. Avoid masks or at least ensure they don’t block the eyes.

8. Parents should check candy before it is eaten to remove any potential hazards. Encourage kids to eat a healthy snack or meal before they go out.

9. Trick-or-Treat on one side of the street then the other. Never criss-cross the street and always look both ways before crossing

Stay safe and have a Spooktacular Halloween!


What are the first aid requirements for my workplace?

First Aid Requirements in the Workplace

Employers are responsible for first aid in the workplace. To determine the first aid requirements of your workplace, first you’ll need to do an assessment. Then, you can review the findings and take necessary steps to put proper first aid procedures in place. If you’re an employer, you are responsible for first aid in the workplace.

First aid in the workplace is about providing workers with prompt, easily accessible, and appropriate first aid treatment. Depending on your workplace, you might need some or all of the following:

  • Occupational first aid attendants with the training appropriate for the type of workplace, number of workers, and time to a hospital.
  • Proper facilities, such as first aid rooms or dressing stations.
  • First aid kits with appropriate types and quantities of supplies.
  • A record-keeping system so incidents can be logged.
  • Appropriate means of transporting injured workers to medical aid.
  • Effective means of communication between first aid attendants and workers served, and for the first aid attendant to call for assistance.
  • Conduct a first aid assessment

To determine an adequate and appropriate level of first aid coverage, the first step is a first aid assessment. This doesn’t need to be complicated. But it does call for a full review of your workplace. The assessment will help you determine the minimum level of first aid needed in your workplace. First aid levels are outlined in the OHS Regulation Schedule 3-A: Minimum Levels of First Aid.

Steps to first aid assessment can be found on the WorkSafeBC website

I’m interested in Onsite Level 1 Training at my workplace

I’d like to register my workers on a Level 1 course in Coquitlam

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Onsite First Aid Training in Metro Vancouver

Do your staff need first aid training?

We do onsite first aid training in workplaces in Metro Vancouver.  We can teach a class in the convenience of your own venue, or you can book a private course at our Coquitlam location. Private group training is easy to very organize. Just book a date with us and provide a group of people and we’ll take care of everything else!

We will come out to your location in the Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody) Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, Vancouver, North Vancouver, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford or Langley.

The Venue

The training room should be clean and contain enough seating for the number of people attending as well as adequate clear floor space for the practical sessions. Please see guidelines below. There must be washrooms nearby.

Training room size

Red Cross minimum room size requirements: 1.4 m2 (15 sq. ft.) available for every 2 participants.

For Level 1 (Workplace Emergency First Aid) courses, WorkSafe BC requires a minimum of 500 sq ft of clear floor space in addition to the seating area.

First Aid Class Group Size

Red Cross First Aid/ CPR courses:

Maximum number of students per class = 18

Minimum number of students you will be invoiced for = 10


Mental Health First Aid courses:

Maximum number of students per class = 24

Minimum number of students you will be invoiced for = 10

Special arrangements can be made for smaller or larger groups.

Don’t have a suitable training room onsite?

No problem! We can teach your group at our Coquitlam location or you can register your staff members on one of our public courses. You can find our public course schedule at

First Aid in Farsi?

Our public courses are usually conducted in English, however we have an Iranian instructor who can teach first aid and CPR classes in Farsi. We’d be happy to arrange a private course for your group conducted in Farsi.

Ready to book your private group course?

For more information, or to make arrangements for your onsite first aid training, please contact us. To help us to serve you better, please give us the following information if you can:

  • Which course do your staff members need to take?
  • Would you like us to teach the class at your workplace or our classroom in Coquitlam?
  • Which day of the week is most convenient for you?
  • Do you have any dates in mind for your training? Please give a two or three alternate dates and indicate your preference.
  • Would you prefer to be contacted by phone or email?

Contact us today to book a private first aid class for your group!
Call 604-945-7277 and speak to Gill, or email

Babysitting course SD43

October 21 2016, Babysitting course, Coquitlam

Are you worried when you leave your older child at home alone with their younger siblings? If you’d like your 11-15 year old to learn babysitting skills and how to be safer when home alone, you may like to sign them up for our Red Cross Babysitting course on October 21 2016 in Coquitlam. Register online or call 604-945-7277.

Red Cross Babysitting course topics:

Help your child build valuable skills for a lifetime. As a trained babysitter, your child will learn how to:

  • Look after babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
  • Care for himself/herself and siblings when home alone.
  • Create a safe environment, and deal with phone calls and unexpected visitors.
  • React confidently in case of an emergency, such as choking, bleeding, poisoning or burns.
  • Cope with common problems, such as tantrums and crying.
  • Play games and organize activities to keep kids of all ages entertained.
  • Manage a babysitting business. This includes creating a resume and a business card and asking the right questions before accepting a babysitting job.

Register for October 21 Red Cross Babysitting course

Questions? Call 604-945-7277 or email


Having a stroke more than doubles your risk of developing dementia


A new report from the Heart & Stroke Foundation shows that having a stroke more than doubles your risk of developing dementia – all the more reason to adopt a healthy lifestyle now and get stroke victims to hospital as soon as possible.

If you suspect someone is having a stroke call EMS/911 immediately and request an ambulance. The person needs medical attention as fast as possible. Do not drive them to the hospital yourself.

If the person is having a stroke that’s caused by a blood clot they can be given clot busting medication that can stop the stroke by breaking up the blood clot. The medication must be given as soon as possible and within 4½ hours after stroke symptoms start. Receiving this medication in time can reduce the severity of a stroke and reverse some of the effects, helping the person recover more quickly.

Stroke and Dementia by the numbers:

  • 1.9 million brain cells die every minute after a stroke.
  • 405,000 Canadians are living with the effect of stroke.
  • 1 in 3 Canadians who will develop stroke, dementia, or both.
  • 1/3 of dementia risk can be attributed to stroke.
  • 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

Signs of stroke include F.A.S.T.

FACE – Is it drooping?
ARMS – Can you raise both?
SPEECH – Is it slurred or jumbled?
TIME – to call 9-1-1 right away

Take a Red Cross first aid & CPR course and learn how to care for a person suffering from a stroke or heart attack. Check out our course list here.