Mental health is an essential pillar of any health and safety program. Specific challenges, including extensive travel, prolonged fieldwork, gender and diversity imbalances, and working as a team in a remote location, are particular to mineral exploration and development.
To help AME members, companies and teams address and prepare for these challenges, AME approached the Canadian Mental Health Association to adapt and develop its Resilient Minds training program for explorers and developers.
Resilient Minds™ is dedicated to building resilient fire teams and services – to educate, empower and equip firefighters with the skills and resources to grow and maintain psychological wellness. CMHA believes in inspiring firefighters to recognize and respond to psychological injuries and trauma in the workplace, promoting a shift to a supportive, mentally fit culture.
Resilient Minds started as a partnership between Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) and the Canadian Mental Health Association in 2016 to develop a program in response to the experiences of firefighters and stress-related injuries. VFRS had also recognized a skill deficit and gap in education centred around managing stress and trauma responses, which resulted in an increase in psychological distress and illness across fire staff.
With collective passion and subject matter experts, Resilient Minds was created and first piloted in Vancouver, BC to the 800 members of VFRS. The program quickly captured the attention of many other municipalities in both BC and across Canada.
Firefighters were directly involved with the development process to create a training program that addressed the unique needs for fire and rescue services.
In collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association, the AME Health & Safety Committee and AME staff have begun to explore how the training can be adapted for explorers and developers. Over the following year, we will be working on this and calling on our members for input.
Visit the Resilient Minds website for more information.