Take a Course

Rocks that have the words Mind body soul

We know that when we take the time and space to invest in the mental health of our employees that they will be more likely to succeed in their pursuits, be engaged in their day-to-day work and have the capacity to sustain commitments over time.

Organizational Development is in the process of revitalizing the health and well-being curriculum in alignment with our new learning curriculum framework, current research and employee needs.

Focus on Protection From Harm

Programming for 2023-2024 will focus on the protection from harm pillar of the learning curriculum framework. Current research indicates that over three-quarters of the workforce can identify at least one personal mental health condition and want a work environment that supports employee well-being. The initial programming priorities will be an evidenced based curriculum focused on suicide intervention and mental health first aid training.

Understanding Employee Needs

In the summer 2023 Organizational Development will initiate a needs analysis to better understand the education needs of faculty and staff in their current context. Phase two of the curriculum rollout will align with the needs identified by faculty and staff.

Watch for more information in Working at the U for information about how to participate in the needs analysis and the launch of the phase two curriculum.

Workshops that address the curriculum are offered and added throughout the year. Please visit the U of A Events hub to find available courses. If you are interested in offering a workshop to your team that currently has no availability, please contact org.learning@ualberta.ca to discuss options.


Mental Health First Aid - Standard (Self-pace + Virtual In-Person)

The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that one in every five Canadians experiences a mental health problem within a given year. While we often know a lot about physical illness, there tends to be less knowledge about mental health or substance use problems. This lack of understanding leads to fear and negative attitudes towards individuals living with these problems. It prevents people from seeking help for themselves and from providing appropriate support to people around them.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the support provided to a person who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis. This 9-hour course will help you identify and support someone experiencing a mental well-being decline or mental health crisis. The three module course combines self-directed learning (Module 1) and virtual classroom sessions (Modules 2 and 3). Module 1 (2 hours) must be completed before participating in Module 2 and 3. Course participants receive access to the MHFA Participant Reference Guide that outlines MHFA actions for developing mental health and substance use problems and crises.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize signs that a person may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis.
  • Practice respectful conversations that encourage a person to talk about decline in their mental well-being, discuss and engage with supports and maintain one’s own mental well-being.
  • Assist in a mental health or substance use crisis situation.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day, in-person interactive workshop in suicide first aid. It teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and to work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize that caregivers and people are affected by personal and societal attitudes about suicide.
  • Provide life-assisting guidance to a person thinking about suicide in a flexible manner.
  • Identify what needs to be in a person thinking about suicide’s plan for safety.
  • Demonstrate the skills required to provide suicide first aid to a person thinking about suicide.
  • Appreciate the value of improving community resources including the way that they work together.
  • Recognize that suicide prevention is broader than suicide intervention and that it includes life promotion and self-care for people thinking about suicide and for caregivers.

Integrated Awareness + Well-being: Resilience, Rest, Reset

(Coming Fall 2023)

This day-long workshop based on our new learning curriculum Health + Well-being learning framework. In this workshop you will explore your personal path to happiness and wisdom by building awareness of how to respond to, adapt, and integrate information in changing contexts. This workshop equips you with the tools, techniques and theories that help with the implementation of the 3 R’s (resilience, rest, reset) contributing to a stronger sense of mattering at work and prioritizing life-work harmony.

Learning Outcomes

  • Define integrated wellbeing identifying key components (resilience, rest, resetting).
  • Define the seven types of rest, the indicators of need and activities to increase rest in each of the seven areas.
  • Examine personal values and purpose to inform what personal integrated well-being looks like.
  • Explore the concept of self-compassion and commit to implementing self-compassion practices.
  • Commit to a plan to increase personal integrated well-being considering both professional and personal lives.

Managers for Mental Health Training

(Coming January 2024)

Leaders at the University of Alberta recognize that mental well-being is an important contributor to workplace productivity, success and job satisfaction. Factors in the workplace that can support this recognition include caring professional relationships, clear feedback and instructions, positive feedback and life-work balance. In this session you will explore how to support your team's mental health and well-being within U of A's unionized environment.

This session is a complement to Management Intensive and Leading Others programs; however, completion of either program is not required to participate. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify leadership opportunities to support mental well-being.
  • Analyze case scenarios to prompt use of the We Care Toolkit (coming winter 2024!)
  • Explore personal emotional intelligence (EQ) and identify ways to increase your EQ to better support your team.
  • Outline the difficult conversation cycle and prepare for a mental health conversation. 
  • Create a personalized set of guiding principles that will inform your leadership toward mental well-being
  • Learn about how to manage situations that require involvement from a HR Partner and Employee Labour Relations.