Positive Leadership Development Institute – Mental Health First Aid Training, March 15 – 17, 2019

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.

Training Dates: March 15th – March 17th 2019.

Training Location: Vancouver Airport Marriott 

Online Application: Click here! 

Click to read: Code of Conduct and Financial Guidelines

PLDI Graduates with two modules (see exception in the eligibility section) will attend a two-and a half day training which focuses on the four most common mental health disorders. Topics include substance related disorders, mood related disorders, anxiety and trauma related disorders, and psychotic disorders. Participants who take this course will be well prepared with the material presented to interact confidently about mental health with their family, friends, communities, and workplaces.

Participants will learn:

  • Mental health and stigma
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Effective intervention
  • Resources and supports

The training will provide the ability to:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
  • Preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Provide help to prevent the mental health problem from developing into a more serious state
  • Promote the recovery of good mental health
  • Provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem
  • Guide a person towards appropriate professional help

The Training will not provide:

  • Space to solve personal mental health challenges
  • The ability to diagnose
  • Will not teach participants to become therapists or counselors

More about course content:

It must be emphasized the upcoming, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training, like all PLDI training’s (Communication Skills Module 2Bored? Get on Board! Module 3 and Core Leadership Module 1 before them), is a professional development opportunity – not a retreat. MHFA is an advanced skills development opportunity which combines and enhances the trainings provided by both the PLDI Program and the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Basic course offered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. This training program includes the presentation of course material by Mental Health Commission of Canada certified facilitators, Kath Webster and Jaydee Cossar.

Please read this information carefully, along with the Code of Conduct and Financial Guidelines, posted at the top & bottom of this page before submitting an online application. The training will take place over the course of Friday March 15th, Saturday March 16th & Sunday March 17th, these days are very structured and intensive. Participants must attend the entire 12-hour course, participate in discussions and activities in order to receive a Mental Health First Aid Certificate from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. While there are scheduled breaks, the days are quite long and there may be reading at night.

The content presented does not deviate from the program and certification criteria belonging to the Mental Health Commission of Canada. This is a certificate program belonging to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, not the Pacific AIDS Network and its PLDI program. You are required to attend all sections of the course, be aware that some of the content may be emotionally activating. For example topics discussed will include suicide and suicide prevention, as a key component of learning. As these topics may activate strong emotions, this course is recommended for people whose physical and mental health is at a place where they can fully participate. Please gauge your own training readiness, be sure you are emotionally and physically able to devote the time to this valuable leadership opportunity.

Who is eligible to apply to attend the Mental Health First Aid Training?

The PLDI MHFA Training is open to graduates who have completed, two PLDI modules. We require that those interested in applying have two prerequisites: Core Leadership (module 1), and Communication Skills (module 2) or Board Governance Training (module 3). Exception: For Graduates who have taken Core Leadership only, there will be an exception to the two module requirement. The Selection Committee will welcome applications from people living with HIV who have taken only Core Leadership (module 1) providing the applicant can demonstrate current front line or peer work experience.

What is the application process for this training?

There are a total of 18 spots available for the training, space will be very limited. We expect demand for this training to be very high and not all applicants will be accepted. All persons interested in taking the training must fully complete the online application form. and have an email address. The application is not the normal PLDI application and will take time to complete. We don’t expect applications to demonstrate mastery of mental health disorders. Like all PLDI training’s there will have a mix of participants from those with advance knowledge, to those for whom this material is new. The course is designed to be accessible and helpful for everyone, regardless of their background.

There are a total of 18 spots available for the training, space will be very limited. We expect demand for this training to be very high and not all applicants will be accepted. All persons interested in taking the training must complete and submit an online application form.

The deadline for receipt of applications is shorter than normal. Please submit applications by Thursday February 21, 2019 4:00 pm. Please note that incomplete applications and those received after the cutoff date will not be reviewed. Applications submitted outside of the online system will also not be reviewed.

Due to limited administrative resources, to promote efficiency and to make things easier for our Volunteer Steering Committee members, we require that all applications be submitted electronically, using the online application system. Email will be the only way the Committee will communicate with applicants. You will be required to check email and respond to requests regularly. Please note that in order to receive your certificate from the Mental Health Commission of Canada an evaluation will be emailed to you. You must complete the evaluation prior to receiving your certificate, again an email is required. The PLDI Leadership Steering Committee thank you kindly in advance for complying with these requirements.

IMPORTANT: Applications should be submitted online only, if you have questions about the online form please send them to following email address: [email protected].

By submitting the online application you are indicating you agree and have read the Code of Conduct and the Financial Guidelines, as well as the Sample Release of Liability. All of these documents are found in the links on this page. The Release is to be signed at the registration desk before the start of the training, the copy here is only for review purposes. (See links on this page for all documents).

Who will decide who gets to attend the training?

All applications will be reviewed by our volunteer PLDI Selection Committee comprised of PLHIV. It is the Selection Committee who will determine the success of each application.  Applicants will be notified  by email whether they have been accepted to the MHFA course before 5 pm on or before the week of February 25th 2019. A small wait-list will be generated, please indicate on your application if you are open to being wait-listed. Those who indicate they are interested in being placed on a wait-list will be called in the event there are persons who decide they are not able or willing to attend the training, and have provided us with the required 5 business days’ notice (i.e. Friday March 8th by 12:00 pm)

Who will be delivering the training?

Mental Health Commission of Canada certified facilitators, Kath Webster and Jaydee Cossar will be leading the PLDI Mental Health First Aid course offered by the Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) in March. PAN works in an ongoing partnership with the OAN & COCQ-SIDA to deliver the PLDI training’s here in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec. The PLDI MHFA course is only offered in BC .

What Costs are covered? What costs are not covered?
PAN will reimburse long-distance direct, local ground travel to and from Richmond for accepted applicants traveling from outside of the Lower Mainland (not including Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack); For participants traveling from within the Lower Mainland TransLink expenses will be reimbursed to the training facility in Richmond but only for those without a monthly transit pass (receipts will be required). Flight bookings are the responsibility of the individual applicant. After you have “accepted” the training offer, PLDI manager, Jaydee Cossar, will invite you to book your flight with PAN’s preferred travel agent. Flight bookings are the responsibility of each individual applicant, however if you need assistance prior to booking or you require more information, the PAN Administration team would be glad to help. The cost of the flight will be billed directly to PAN: baggage fees, and seat upgrades are not included. These costs are the responsibility of the individual applicant. 

For people traveling to Vancouver and flying in and out of the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) main terminal or the south terminal, please note there is a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and the hotel back to the airport, therefore taxi and transit costs for this leg of the trip will not be eligible for reimbursement (i.e. we ask that you take the shuttle).

PAN will help with your travel arrangements, once you are accepted. If you have concerns about traveling to the training please consult with Jaydee Cossar, by emailing [email protected]

Hotel Accommodation:

All participants will stay at the Vancouver Airport Marriott in Richmond, we hope this will facilitate a more enjoyable training experience. PAN will book accommodations for you, all you need to do is check-in.

Accommodation will be based on shared occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, a charge of $75.00 per night will be levied and an invoice will be sent to you following the training. Please note that failure to pay the invoice will result in your exclusion from future PAN sponsored events, including future Leadership training opportunities with PLDI.


PAN will provide the following meals – Day One March 15th: dinner. Day two March 16th: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Day Three March 17th: breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Please indicate on your application any dietary requests and allergies.


We will also provide child care subsidies wherever possible. ($50 per day) The need for childcare must be indicated on your application form. This indication will not affect your participation, or acceptance, it is used to make sure all child care needs are met.  A signed invoice from your childcare provider must be attached to a reimbursement form following the training. PAN has an easy to use template, asking for the information we require. We’d be happy to provide this template to you upon request. Once the reimbursement has been submitted note that payment may take up to 4 weeks to process.

The above noted costs are the only costs that PAN will cover for this training – all other costs are the responsibility of the participant.

What is the fee?

There is no registration fee for the Mental Health First Aid Training.

“No Show” and Cancellation Policy

We want to stress we only have the resources to provide this training to a very limited number of PLHIV in BC. PAN is allocating finite and limited resources to make this training a reality. PAN therefore requires 5 business days’ notice of a person’s inability to attend the training i.e. March 8th @ 12:00 pm. The five days’ notice will allow us to contact persons on the wait-list and ensure that all training spots are filled.

In the event that a person does not arrive at the training hotel by the designated meeting time of 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Friday March 15th for registration or fails to provide 5 business days’ notice of inability to attend (i.e. by Friday March 8th @ 12:00 pm), PAN will invoice the individual for 100% of the training costs. These cost include all travel charges (air, ground, water) as well as accommodation and meal costs incurred by PAN. Exceptions to this are documented unexpected medical or health emergencies or documented family emergencies.

If after having read all of the information above, and having reviewed the Code of Conduct and Financial Guidelines, if you still have questions, please email at [email protected]

On behalf of our dynamic volunteer Fully Certified PLDI Facilitator/Trainers, Kath Webster, Dakota Descoteaux, Valerie Nicholson, & John Dub, PAN would like to thank you for taking the time to consider this worthwhile skills building and leadership training opportunity.

Online application

Financial Guidelines

Sample Release of Liability

Jaydee Cossar
PLDI Manager for the
PLDI Leadership
Steering Committee
Pacific AIDS Network
[email protected]