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MHFA First Nations Co-Facilitator

Co-Facilitators for this course:

  • provide training in all provinces;
  • are knowledgeable about both mental health and First Nations approaches to learning;
  • deliver the course to First Nations communities; and
  • provide the course with at least two Co-Facilitators present.

As a MHFA First Nations course Co-Facilitator you:

  • may deliver the MHFA First Nations course to the Canadian public in First Nations community settings;
  • may deliver the course on behalf of your organization or as an independent operator;
  • will be supported by the Opening Minds team and
  • will have access to course updates and materials.

Criteria and Expectations

  • Minimum of 2 years of experience working in a front-line position supporting individuals living with mental health problems. Examples of front-line workers:
    •         Crisis worker
    •         Counsellor
    •         NNADAP worker
    •         Case Manager
    •         Social Worker
    •         Psychiatric Nurse
    •         Peer Support Worker
    •         Psychologist
  • Good knowledge of mental health disorders and their treatment as applicable to First Nations people
  • Experience delivering training/teaching effectively to adult learners
  • Experience in networking with community partners
  • Knowledge of the range of mental health services
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Positive attitudes toward people with mental health problems
  • Enthusiasm to reduce stigma/discrimination associated with mental illness
  • Proficient in computer programs such as PowerPoint and Excel, and must have an email address, internet, access to a computer and a projector

How to Apply

Submit a completed MHFA First Nations Co-Facilitator application package, including:

  • Thorough answers to the questionnaire
  • A current resume
  • A letter of support from your organization OR 2 references if applying to be an independent operator

Please note that applications must be typed and sent back in PDF format. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.

We will review and respond with 1 of the following next steps:

  1. Based on our criteria and expectations, you are approved to attend an MHFA Co-Facilitator training course and the next step is for you to tell us which course you would like to take.
  2. We need more information and possibly a phone interview.
  3. Based on our criteria and expectations, you are not approved to attend an MHFA Co-Facilitator training course at this time and you are encouraged to re-apply in a year when gaps in knowledge, attitude, or experience are addressed. Please note that due to the high volume of applications we receive, we cannot always provide specific feedback to applicants, though we will always strive to do so.

Course Experience

  • This course runs for 5 consecutive days, normally Monday to Friday.
  • Successful applicants will attend the 5-day Co-Facilitator training course of their choice (space permitting).   
  • All MHFA Co-Facilitator courses are delivered by an experienced and engaging Master Trainer.

DAYS 1, 2, and 3

The MHFA First Nations course is modeled by the Master Trainer. Candidates attend the full day as well as additional time before and after the course is delivered to discuss key points, review both content and delivery, and compare notes on their experiences.

At the end of Day 2, each candidate is provided with a course section (usually 45 minutes long) that they must present to the group on Day 4 or Day 5.  

Day 3

The Master Trainer and the candidates spend the day reviewing the particulars of being an MHFA Co-Facilitator:

  • Review and discuss the content of the Co-Facilitator resource kit.
  • Review and discuss effective course delivery to various audiences.
  • Review and discuss the administrative and technical requirements of MHFA Co-Facilitators.

On Days 3 and 4 the Master Trainer is available to provide individual and small group support to candidates as they prepare their presentations.

Day 4 and 5

Candidates deliver a 45-minute section of the MHFA course to their peers. Each candidate will use the materials provided by MHFA Canada including handouts, PowerPoint slides, and course manuals.  

Upon completion of each presentation, the candidates will provide peer feedback.

Once all presentations are completed, candidates will have one-on-one meetings with the Master Trainer where feedback is discussed.  Candidates will learn whether they were successful during this meeting.

A mother and her kids hang out in their living room, smiling as they take care of the baby of the family. | Une mère et ses enfants traînent dans leur salon, souriants, en s'occupant du bébé de la famille.

Candidate Assessment

Candidates on the MHFA Co-Facilitator training course are assessed for their ability to prepare and deliver a section of the MHFA course to their peers. Assessment consists of a combination of how well:

  • the candidate understood the content of the section they delivered
  • the candidate delivered the section, including engagement with the group, effective adult learning techniques, appropriate tone, professionalism, and approachability
  • the candidate prepared for their presentation. It shows when a candidate does not put in the work in the evenings or use the Master Trainer’s experience and accessibility

The Master Trainer’s evaluation of the presentation is the foundation of the assessment. Candidates also give and receive peer feedback.

MHFA Canada Master Trainers

An MHFA Master Trainer is responsible for guiding candidates through their weeklong course to become an MHFA Co-Facilitator. Master Trainers demonstrate effective course delivery, assign sections of the course to be delivered by candidates, and provide constructive feedback and assessment of their performance. Ultimately, the Master Trainer determines whether a candidate has the proficiency required to be an effective MHFA Co-Facilitator.

Our Master Trainers have varied life experiences, and each has a base of knowledge and awareness of mental health that makes them valuable and impactful mentors through the MHFA Co-Facilitator training course.

Portrait of young school girls in warm clothing looking at camera and smiling in the winter | Portrait de jeunes écolières vêtues de vêtements chauds regardant la caméra et souriant en hiver

Cost of Training

The cost of the MHFA First Nations Co-Facilitator training is $3,250. This includes the 5-day training, a Facilitator’s Resource Kit, and after-training support from Opening Minds, namely:

  • Access to the Facilitator’s online portal
    • New and updated resources
    • Discussions with other facilitators 
    • Updated course materials
    • Updated administrative forms
  • All courses are posted on the Opening Minds website (that’s this one!)
  • Co-Facilitator profile posted on the Opening Minds website
  • Ongoing program evaluation
  • Support from the Opening Minds team

Course fees are paid by credit card and are payable upon successful review of an application.

Participants are responsible for the cost of their travel and accommodation. A light lunch is included in the course fees.

Cancellation Fees

Any amounts paid by you are non-refundable if cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to the registered course. Otherwise, a full refund, less a 25% administration fee, will be provided for cancellations received in writing. Registration is non-transferable.

Hoop Dancer | Danseur de cerceaux
Cheerful Navajo young woman wearing traditional jewerly | Joyeuse jeune femme Navajo portant des bijoux traditionnels

Staying Active

MHFA First Nations Co-Facilitators must adhere to all clauses listed in the MHFA Co-Facilitator Policy Handbook.  This includes:

  • meeting minimum annual requirements to maintain certified status;
  • 2 courses per year and ongoing refresher activities;
  • maintaining fidelity to the MHFA course content and delivery as presented during the MHFA Co-Facilitator training course;
  • adhering to provincial and national privacy laws as it regards the collection of personal information from participants; and
  • meeting administrative requirements both before and after course delivery.


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