Road to mental readiness

Reducing stigma and increasing resiliency in first responders

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What is Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR)?

Click here to read our fact sheet.

Originally developed by the Department of National Defence, R2MR is a training program aimed to:

  • Improve short-term performance and long-term mental health outcomes;
  • Reduce barriers to care and encourage early access to care;
  • Provide the tools and resources required to manage and support employees who may be experiencing a mental illness; and
  • Assist supervisors in maintaining their own mental health as well as promoting positive mental health in their employees.

R2MR offers three tailored course options:

Primary (4 hour course), where participants are provided with valuable information, skills, tools and resources specific to:

  • Stigma and barriers to care;
  • Healthy coping strategies;
  • Mental toughness; and
  • The Mental Health Continuum Model, a self-assessment tool with indicators of positive, poor, and declining mental health. (Example of the Continuum Model featured below)
  • To enable continuous learning, booster sessions are also available (1-2hrs in length, focussing on one of the topics from the full course, and facilitated by a certified instructor. Booster sessions are intended only for participants who have taken the initial full course.

Leadership (8 hour course), where in addition to the topics covered in the primary course, leaders acquire tools and skills specific to:

  • Workplace accommodations and return to work;
  • The role of leadership in promoting positive mental health in employees;
  • Ad hoc incident reviews; and
  • Early recognition.
  • Booster sessions are also available for participants who have taken the initial full-day Leadership course.

Train the Trainer (5-day course), which equips people with the tools and skills to present both the frontline and manager versions of R2MR. The train-the-trainer course includes:

  • Background information on mental health;
  • Extensive information on the key concepts of the employee and manager;
  • Structured presentation practice time; and
  • Evaluation of presentation skills by master trainers.

Goals

  • To reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards those struggling with poor mental health
  • To provide first responders with a broad understanding of mental health and wellness
  • Help first responders maintain mental health and improve resilience
  • To promote mental health and wellness in the first responder community 
  • To provide leaders with the confidence, tools and resources to manage and support first responders who may be experiencing mental health problems or illness 

Objectives

The course's objective is to give first responders the practical knowledge of mental health and mental illness so they can:  

  • Use the mental health continuum to define mental health in themselves and others 
  • Be prepared to use skills to improve their coping and resiliency
  • Reduce both public and self-stigma
  • Be willing to be a part of a supportive environment

Central Components

  • The Mental Health Continuum Model, which categorizes one's mental health within a continuum: green (healthy), yellow (reacting), orange (injured), and red (ill).
    • Allows individuals to identify indicators of declining or pool mental health in themselves, and others (without diagnostic labels and their associated stigma)
    • Stresses that individuals can move along the continuum; if one ends up in the red "ill" phase, he or she can move back towards the green "healthy phase”
    • Teaches the appropriate action one can take for themselves and for others at each point along the continuum.
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  • Big 4” — a set of evidenced-based, cognitive behavioural therapy-based techniques that help individuals cope with stress and improve their mental health and resiliency. The Big 4 are positive self-talk, visualization, tactical breathing, and SMART goal setting.
  • Research indicates that contact-based education is one of the best ways of reducing stigma. R2MR includes custom videos of people with mental illnesses describing some of their experiences with mental illness and stigma, as well as those who supported them and their journey to recovery. Click here to read our preliminary evaluations report.

Upcoming Courses

To view upcoming courses, please click here. If you do not see a course that fits your needs, please contact us at R2MR@mentalhealthcommission.ca to discuss other options.

Contact

To learn more about R2MR and to ask about course options for your organization, please email: R2MR@mentalhealthcommission.ca