5 Mental Health Skills Every Front-line Worker Needs

Updated January 2023

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Gerontology Training: 10 Key Skills for Supporting the Elderly

Updated December 2022

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5 Clear Signs of Poor Mental Health: Checklist of Early Symptoms

Updated January 2023

If you work in a community-serving role, you've probably faced situations where you suspected someone was suffering from poor mental health—but you weren't sure what questions to ask or how to intervene.

What signals should you be looking for? When do you take action? What are some clear, universal signs that someone is at-risk and needs support?

These questions are particularly salient for people who work with youth and young adults.

Early intervention can help reduce the severity of a mental illness, and in some cases, delay or prevent its development altogether. Mental health training and awareness are key.

Obviously, a complete mental health assessment is required to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

But as a first step, community-serving professionals can be on alert for symptoms, encourage open discussions, and identify where an assessment and further support may be needed.

These are five of the most common signs of poor mental health. One symptom alone may not indicate a serious problem, but combined, they signal a clear call for help.

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Arbitration Training & Careers: Your Top Questions Answered

Updated December 2022

If you're considering a career in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), you're probably familiar with practices like mediation and arbitration, which people use to resolve disputes out of court.

Given the time, expense, and sheer stress of litigation, it's no surprise that the field of ADR is growing rapidly. But if you're looking to capitalize on this momentum and start a career in arbitration, where do you begin?

How do you select a reputable program, and what are your career options as an arbitrator?

These are just some of the questions we get from prospective students who are considering arbitration training. And who better to answer them than David Merrigan? He's a highly experienced arbitrator who also developed our arbitration certificate.

So let's get started. Here are David's answers to your most frequently asked questions, along with some valuable advice to start your career.

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HR Training for New Managers: 5 Keys to a Much Better Hiring Process

Updated January 2024

Hiring is one of your most important tasks as a new manager. You must find candidates with the right skillset, right attitude, and right fit for your team. It's a tall order.

Especially when you consider that many managers are under time pressure to fill vacant roles and don't have much space in their schedules for interviews.

Not to mention, if you're a new leader, you probably haven't done a lot of hiring and have only a vague sense of what an effective process looks like.

This is just one of the many ways companies let down their new managers. It's well known that training in this area is seriously lacking.

One study from consulting firm, West Monroe, reveals that an astounding 59 per cent of new managers get no training whatsoever upon transitioning into a leadership role.

Research shows a single bad hire can cost a company $25,000 or more. In a recent survey by Career Builder, 25 per cent of businesses said the damage could run upward of $50,000 per bad hire. 

So, if you're new to management and facing your first round of hiring, what can you do to minimize errors and find the absolute best fit for each role?

Take a page from the human resources playbook. Follow these five steps for a more efficient hiring process.

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Gerontology Training: Top 5 Challenges of Caring for Seniors

Updated December 2022

Caring effectively and compassionately for seniors is an issue that touches every single one of us. Either we have a loved one who needs care, or we ourselves are facing the facts of growing old.

With populations of seniors skyrocketing across the globe, elder care is one of the most important health care and policy issues of our time. Demand is high for gerontology professionals, particularly front-line people who give direct support to aging community members.

But working in this field comes with a very special set of challenges. Older patients have unique needs—needs that often go unnoticed by health care providers and unfulfilled by local resources.

Working closely with the elderly can be incredibly rewarding, but you will need to develop a special skillset to succeed in this career. Take a look at some of the top challenges facing today's senior caregivers, and how gerontology training can help.

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Dispute Resolution Training: 5 Most Common Mediation Mistakes

Updated January 2023

In recent years, there's been a major shift away from traditional litigation toward alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques such as mediation.

Mediation is generally less costly, stressful, and time-consuming than litigation—and offers a much higher degree of flexibility and personalization for clients.

However, in order to be effective, mediation must be a carefully structured, expertly led exercise. Lose control of the process, and negotiations will quickly devolve into chaos.

Formal mediation training teaches aspiring mediators a wide range of techniques they can use to resolve disputes. But even the most successful students and professional mediators occasionally fall into traps.

From losing neutrality to failing to contain and redirect destructive behaviours—these are five of the most common pitfalls you'll face as a mediator.

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Transitioning to Management? How Some HR Training Can Save Your Life

Updated March 2022

What's the number one challenge facing every single new manager? Lack of training on how to actually lead a team.

Whether you were drafted into management because someone quit, or you paid in blood, sweat, and tears to earn that promotion—you're all in the same boat.

Very few organizations offer comprehensive (if any) management training.

One study by consulting firm West Monroe found that 59 per cent of Americans got no training whatsoever when they were promoted to management.

So, what's a first-time manager to do?

While employers drag their feet, seek out your own training on how to master the biggest, most fundamental challenge of your new job—managing your human resources.

Take a page from the HR training handbook. Here's how a few HR basics can significantly improve your transition to management—and earn you respect as a leader.

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How to Choose Trustworthy Online Professional Development Training

Updated February 2023

You really can't go anywhere on the web without seeing ads for online training programs. They're in your Facebook feed. They're in your Google search results. They're promoted on the websites you visit.

Love it or hate it, online learning has exploded in popularity all across the globe.

Gone are the days when people sneered at online degrees, diplomas, and certificates—assuming the courses were somehow easier and less comprehensive than on-campus equivalents.

Even Ivy League institutions like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Duke now offer online programs. And technical and career colleges have certainly been quick to adopt the trend, making training more flexible and accessible than ever.

And flexibility is what it's all about. If you work full-time, have family responsibilities, or live far from campus, online learning may be your only option for professional development.

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Community Mental Health: 5 Most Toxic Mental Health Myths

Updated January 2023

What's the biggest barrier to understanding, compassion, and progress on any issue? Lack of awareness, misinformation, and a closed mind.

Nowhere is this more true (and more damaging) than in the domain of mental illness.

Mental illness is one of the most misunderstood issues on the planet. And despite recent, major pushes to generate awareness and reduce stigma, mental health issues remain shrouded in secrecy, shame, and confusion.

Ironically, mental illness touches every one of us. In any given year, 20 per cent of Canadians will experience a mental health problem. And by age 40, half of the population will have—or have had—a mental illness (Canadian Mental Health Association).

So why is it so hard for many people to grasp the realities of mental illness? False beliefs and lack of community mental health training are the major culprits. 

Let's take a look at five of the most persistent and toxic mental health myths still going strong today.

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