Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI)


PLDI Honors the leadership of the past; Values the leadership here today & Inspires leadership for our future.

The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) exists with the purpose of supporting people who are living with HIV/AIDS realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. The Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) mentored PAN in developing these training modules. Beginning in 2017 PAN & the OAN partnered with COCQ-SIDA to deliver, for the first time ever, PLDI in French. All three agencies now work collaboratively to create a national network of informed and empowered PLHIV leaders in our aligned efforts to embody the GIPA/MIPA and Nothing About Us, Without US principles throughout everything we do.

PLDI is a three module leadership program:

  1. (Module 1) Core Leadership Training – Who am I as a leader?
  2. (Module 2) Communication Skills Training
  3. (Module 3) Bored? Get on Board! Training (Board governance skills)
  4. (Pilot Module) Mental Health First Aid  (At this time only offered only in BC)

Core Leadership Module 1 training is a prerequisite for all other modules and PLDI alumni events. Once you have completed the Core Leadership training you may take the Bored? Get on Board! training or the Communication Skills training in any order you wish. Mental Health First Aid is an advanced leadership opportunity, as such graduates with two modules, /or extensive community or front line peer work experience will be given preference.

The Pacific AIDS Network is hosting our 2nd PLDI – Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training, March 15 – 17, 2019 at the Vancouver Airport Marriott, in Richmond BC.

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing the worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Just like physical first aid is provided until medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate support is found or until the crisis is resolved.

More about Mental Health First Aid

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is a training course designed to give members of the public the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy, decreases stigmatizing attitudes, and helps individuals identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.

Canadian statistics show that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem this year.  MHFA is an interactive workshop that teaches participants to recognize the signs that a person may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis and how to provide initial help and guide the person to appropriate professional resources.

How MHFA helps

Mental Health First Aid:

  • Engages confidently where a person may be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Provides help to prevent the mental health problem from developing into a more serious state.
  • Promotes the recovery of good mental health.
  • Provides comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem.

The Basic (12 hours) course addresses four of the most common and most stigmatized mental health disorders and includes signs/symptoms, risk factors, and crisis first aid for specific situations:

  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Overdose
  • Mood-Related Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Suicidal Behaviour
  • Anxiety and Trauma-related Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Panic Attack
  • Crisis First Aid for Acute Stress Reaction
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Crisis First Aid for Psychotic Episode

MHFA does not teach participants to become therapists or counsellors. MHFA while beneficial to all Canadians, is not a self-help course for personal problem solving.  Rather the course provides the skills, knowledge, and attitudes allowing participants to offer effective first aid intervention to others.

An important component of Mental Health First Aid training is the opportunity to practice the intervention strategy rather than to just learn about it. This simple experience can make it easier to apply the knowledge in a real-life situation.

In addition to crisis interventions, participants learn how to have confident and effective conversations about mental health, regardless of whether someone is in crisis or not. This includes recognizing the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health problem, or noticing a change in someone’s behaviour and starting a conversation with that person.

For more information and to apply, please visit the PLDI MHFA page by Clicking Here! 

Communication Skills Training February 1 – 3, 2019 in Richmond.

PAN will be hosting a Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) – Communication Skills Module 2 training from February 1st to the 3rd, 2019, at the Vancouver Airport Marriott, in Richmond BC. This Module 2 training is a skills development opportunity for those who have already taken Core Leadership Module 1 training at Loon Lake or at Silver Star Resort, in Vernon.

The Communication Skills Training will explore the following topics through presentations, group work and discussions in a supportive environment:

  • 5 practices & 10 Commitments
  • Structured Feedback
  • Effective Meetings
  • Active Listening
  • Dealing with Difficult Situations & Distracting Behaviors
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Presentation Skills/Public Speaking
  • Practicum – Participants are given the opportunity to develop and deliver a short presentation


Core Leadership Module 1 Training

PAN held its 14th Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) – Core Leadership Training at beautiful Loon Lake, in Maple Ridge BC, November 1 – 4, 2018. The Fall 2018 Core Leadership Module 1 training was a tremendous success with 19 new leaders answering the question “Who I’m I as a Leader?” Kath Webster, Dakota Descoteaux, John Dub and Trainer Assistant Monte Strong inspired this new cohort with their honesty passion and respect.

The Exemplary Leadership qualities of these individuals, who volunteer their time to be active change agents in their own community, is priceless. Thanks to John, Kath, Monte and Dakota for inspiring the leadership of the future. With the support of these strong leaders here in BC, PAN can continue its work to create stronger communities and support our 50+ member organizations. PAN values the leadership of today embodied in 19 the new PLDI Core Leadership Graduates. We will continue to honor the leadership of the past by as well as the pivotal importance and role of people living with HIV (PLHIV), in all of our work.

Core Leadership Module 1 Training

Core Leadership Training seeks to answer the question: “Who am I as a Leader?”

The three main goals of the training are:

  • To identify personal values and philosophy
  • To develop leadership skills and practices
  • To gain community knowledge and awareness

The curriculum objectives are for participants to have the opportunity:

  • To understand the 5 principles and 10 commitments of leadership
  • To realize individual leadership potential
  • To participate in building a network of leaders within the PLHIV community
  • To realize the potential and strengths that each individual brings to the network
  • To learn about and practice leadership skills in a safe environment
  • To inspire others to become leaders
  • To encourage participants to take on facilitator and mentoring roles within the community

PAN will host its 15th Core Leadership Module 1 training from June 13 to the 16th, 2019  and our 16th Core Leadership training from October 31, to November 3, 2019 both at Loon Lake. Stay tuned for more information coming in March of 2019!!

Bored? Get on Board!

This training is only open to graduates of the Core Leadership training.

This professional development training is on board governance and includes topics such as:

  • Presentations and discussions on the voluntary sector in Canada
  • Board accountability and responsibilities
  • Board governance models
  • Dealing with difficult situations
  • Financial management
  • Understanding committee structures and purpose
  • Understanding potential conflicts of interest

The next Board Governance training will not be until February of 2020. Applications for Bored? Get on Board will be accepted Starting November in 2019!

We greatly appreciate the vision of our government funders and their ongoing commitment to supporting the work of the Pacific AIDS Network. In particular we gratefully acknowledge the Public Health Agency of Canada – HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

  • All Program and Projects
  • Community Based Research
  • Evaluation and Program Science
  • Positive Leadership Development Institute
  • Training and Leadership
  • The Research and Evaluation work at Pacific AIDS Network is funded through a partnership with the CIHR CBR Collaborative, a program of REACH 2.0.  REACH 2.0 is “a nation-wide, innovative, virtual laboratory for intervention research, participatory evaluation, and applied program science in HIV, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections.” The PAN Research and… Read more »

  • “Community-based research is research that is conducted with and for, not on, members of a community.” (Kerry Strand. 2003. Community-Based Research and Higher Education: Principles and Practices, p. xxi) Community-based research (CBR) is a methodological practice that places community partnerships at the forefront. promote an interdisciplinary framework that recognizes the multiple social, economic, political and health… Read more »

  • PAN’s Community-Based Research (CBR) program facilitates and supports community-based research initiatives and partnerships to address HIV and HCV  in British Columbia and across Canada.  This program is possible thanks to our partnership with and funding from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. Through CBR  we work to help foster CBR in the province by linking… Read more »

  • One of the key pieces in our Training and Leadership program is the Positive Leadership  Development Institute (PLDI). The purpose of PLDI is to support people living with HIV/AIDS to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. PLDI features three modules to engage people at various stages of… Read more »

  • As part of our Training and Leadership program, webinar topics are  developed with community input gathered at our annual meeting with people from across BC, through our annual Members and Stakeholder Surveys, and by following public health trends and emerging issues. Our goal is to provide member organizations and the community information they can use… Read more »

  • PAN works to facilitate, support and grow participatory evaluation initiatives and associated partnerships that address HIV, HCV and and related issues in British Columbia and across Canada.  This work is made possible through our partnership with and funding from the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. PAN works within a participatory and community-based evaluation framework: we work to build… Read more »

  • Each year our Fall Conference focuses on key issues in HIV and HCV work in order to educate, support and connect people working across BC. The annual meeting, Executive Directors’ Summit and People Living with HIV forum also identify and prioritize advocacy issues for PAN to address.  The 2017 event will be October 25 and… Read more »

  • The Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) supports people who are living with HIV to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community life. Developed in partnership with the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN), these learning modules have supported many people to go on to pursue paid and volunteer work with new… Read more »

  • Going on a weekend training with peers who have HIV can be life-changing. People arrive to meet other attendees and often feel nervous and uncertain about what to expect and how they will do. When the weekend program is finished, people  don’t want to leave. But what does happen when people leave? How does PLDI training… Read more »

  • The Positive Leadership Development Institute News blog covers information about the multi-module PLDI training as well as information about PLDI grads. Some have gone on to work in the HIV sector as researchers, educators, support workers, and more. Read stories on what it’s like to work in community-based research work from someone with lived experience; read… Read more »


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