Road to Mental Readiness Training for the Influence Activities Company

Article / January 10, 2017

By: Captain Brad Young

From September 10th to 11th, eight members from the the 41 Canadian Brigade Group Influence Activities Company ( IA Coy) participated in a two-day Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) training session in Calgary.

Over the course of the weekend, IA Coy members were introduced to the core concepts of R2MR and to best practices and resources needed by leaders to not only help manage and support those who may be experiencing stress, but maintaining their own mental health.

The R2MR training was instructed by Tina Wagner-Kulak and Captain Mike ter Kuile, with guest speakers Dr. Jennifer Primmer and Judy Lefort from Involution Inc .

Developed by the Department of National Defence, the R2MR program was designed to reduce the stigma of mental illnesses, increase awareness of mental health and offer resources to maintain positive mental health with the goal to increase resiliency.

Through a combination of discussions and group work, participants learned mentoring and coaching of resilience skills through the use of tools such as the Mental Health Continuum Model (MHCM), the Big Four and Ad Hoc Incident Review (AIR).

The MHCM is a self-assessment tool that provides various indicators of positive, poor, and declining mental health that can assist recognizing when one is need of support. 

Coupled with the MHCM, participants learned about how to use the “Big Four” — a set of evidenced-based, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques that help individuals cope with stress and improve their mental health and resiliency.

Based on the policy on early psychological intervention, the AIR provides leaders with a tool to structure a supportive intervention with individuals or a group following exposure to a potentially traumatizing event in order to reduce any potential distress.

The weekend’s R2MR training was well received by those in attendance.

Grounded in the concept of resilience - the capacity of a soldier to recover quickly, resist, and possibly even thrive in the face of stressful and adverse situations regardless of environment, R2MR provided personnel with the skills and tools allowing them to be prepared mentally for the challenges and stresses they may encounter not only in their military career, but in their personal life as well.

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