I just wanted to tell you how great and useful your class was. You are definitly fantastic at your job. You ran those two days with so much ease, depth and connection, it was inspiring to watch. I’ve actually had to use all that knowledge just a few days after finishing the workshop with you with a colleague who had a big mental breakdown/ anxiety attack at work. It is absolutely mind blowing how those pointers helped de-escalate the situation

A big thank you.


Annie C.

October 2019

“I had the wonderful opportunity to take the Mental Health First Aid course with a specific focus on youth, which was taught by Carla Abichahine.  Carla is an upbeat and inspirational educator whose vast knowledge and experience with mental health makes this course essential for persons who interact with youth.  The skills you learn by taking this course are valuable for you and the wider community you interact with.  The stigma that mental health carries in our culture will be broken by individuals who take the course.”

Lukas Hahn

October 2019

I just wanted to thank you again for your amazing workshop last week. You really made it “stick” with me and I feel a lot more confident about helping people now. In fact, I have used ALGEE twice since last week – once when a colleague came into my office and just didn’t look right – ended up sitting with me and chatting about some tough things going on in her life, and secondly when I spotted a student out on the roof in distress. Each time your words came back to me very clearly and I was able to be a duck!

Thanks my friend –


June 2019

I recently attended a workshop led by Carla on Mental Health First Aid. It was particularly tailored for those working in education with young people in an international setting. There were 22 of us, mostly teachers (a hard and potentially critical group to engage) and the workshop was intense, lasting two full days. Carla did a magnificent job, imparting some excellent knowledge and information, keeping us fully engaged, offering interactive opportunities and story- sharing from both her and us and leaving us with a very informative manual to refer to. As well as being knowledgeable and authoritative, she was extremely sensitive and responsive to every individual in the room. During the workshop she created an atmosphere of trust and respect, enabling us all to contribute and be vulnerable when appropriate, but at the same time using the time efficiently and productively. I would highly recommend her to any group needing to upgrade their understanding of youth mental health issues in an engaging and enjoyable atmosphere.

Libby Mason

Faculty Member

Pearson College UWC

August 2018



The Mental Health Instructor Training Course facilitated by Carla was an outstanding, thought provoking, experiential learning experience!  With imagination, and creativity, Carla moves between theory and practice with wisdom and compassion.  Her teaching strategies were both dynamic and realistic.  I unequivocally recommend that you attend one of her training sessions.


Stillman Jacquard, PhD RPsych

February 2018


I really enjoyed your presentation and ,of course, the valuable information you extended to us.

In my opinion, you are the epitome of the quintessential  facilitator.  So many times I have seen facilitators that have forgotten what the word means and end up talking to hear themselves talk!!!

You, on the other hand, presented some pretty intense information flawlessly and your “stories” were quite amazing and so very interesting.  I truly appreciate all the information and have already used ALGEE in our class of participants.  Mind you, I had to refer to the book as a reminder but I really feel confident that I followed the guidelines. J


Thanks again, Carla.  Hope our paths cross again




Geri Campbell

November 2017



The 2-days of Mental Health First Aid training with Carla was absolutely time well-spent! Carla’s fun and enthusiastic style along with her personal stories and anecdotes helped to make the concepts easy to understand – and use. This is the most real-world training I have taken in a very long time, I put what I learned into practice on the job the very next day! Carla created a supportive and encouraging environment where learning, participation and confidence was maximized. Thank you for a truly excellent learning experience.

Kim Kavanagh

Career Advisor

July 2017

Just wanted to thank you for teaching me some very valuable information this past weekend about mental health.

You are very passionate about the subject you teach and also a very compassionate person, and it shows in your presentation of the material in the course and the way you deliver it.

Thank you for doing what you do as I am sure you have helped very many people over the years.

Take care and I will do my best to do my homework each day.

Steve Vatcher

Fire Risk Manager

Lake Cowichan Fire Department

A truly excellent training experience:
I recently took the Mental Health First Aid program with facilitator
Carla Abichahine. The material was just right for front line workers
who see a range of students and who need support in understanding what
is mental health and how to support someone who is struggling with
problems in this area.
Carla approaches the material with compassion and expertise, offering
the facts and material with clarity and succinctness. She balances
this with her observations and hands-on experience to ground the
material and give the class a good sense of how the mental health
situation may present in real life. I would recommend this course to
any person or organization looking to increase mental health awareness
quickly and safely.
Catherine Williams,
Douglas College

In April 2016, I took the Mental Health First Aid-Basic Course. The content was very applicable to the work I do as a front line with The Salvation Army. What stood out over all was the instructors educating style. Carla Abichahine has an amazing ability to:

educate without ego.
educate with a passion.
educate with experience.
educate to diversity.
educate for the student.

I highly recommend Carla Abichahine and the Mental Health First Aid Course to those who want a better understanding of people and what they deal with and how we as front line workers can best support and assist people experiencing poor mental health.
Thank-you Carla!

Nancy Lemire
Coordinator-Community Ministries
The Salvation Army
Cranbrook B.C.

“Recently I completed the Mental Health First Aid course provided by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The course was facilitated by Carla Abichahine who IMO, did an excellent job at breaking down various mental health conditions people may have and how to properly respond to these situations in a potential crisis. I suggest this course to anyone who aims to improve their mental health literacy, provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague!”


John Zador

Youth Employment Facilitator at YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Testimonial from a participant who attended the Mental Health First Aid Training, delivered by Carla Abichahine.

“My wife and I attended this great program hosted by Safe + Sound First Aid Training. As parents of a daughter with mental illness, we learned some valuable skills and information around managing mental health crises. The skills we came away with will undoubtedly help us both within our family and in our community. Mental Health First Aid is a great program and we would recommend this training to anyone who would like to learn more about helping people with mental health issues.”

Richard Stewart,

Coquitlam Mayor.

This Mental Health First Aid course could not have been more attuned to the needs of my current position and of my organization. The course left me with broad knowledge on Mental Health issues as well as specific skills to approach any new situation with confidence.
Carla was knowledgeable and encouraged personal discussion. She created a safe space for participants to engage with the material and with their own levels of learning on the subject matter. Overall I came away with new knowledge, a sharpened skill set and an understanding of my own strengths and limits.
Joanna Ludlow
UBC Employee

I recently had the absolute pleasure of participating in a Mental Health Basic First Aid course, put on by Safe and Sound First Aid. As an Instructor/Educator for the past nine years, I came into the course with a heightened interest and some personal knowledge of the topic of Mental Health, as two of my immediate family members suffer from depression.  Unfortunately, the topic of Mental Health carries such an enormous negative stigma, even though it touches so many lives in so many ways. The course instructor was extremely knowledgeable and helped to break down barriers that we all have on this topic. Carla taught the course with passion and empathy in a motivating and uplifting environment. She did a fabulous job in engaging all participants and allowing for open discussion and dialogue.


I strongly recommend that everyone who has any contact with a person or persons living with the struggles of a mental illness should take this course. Whether you are a teacher, coach, counsellor, pastor, community worker, health care provider, parent, friend, co-worker, manager or business owner…..this course will give you the basic understanding of the different types of mental illness and the tools and knowledge needed to recognize the signs and symptoms of an impending crisis, and how to keep yourself and the patient stable until help arrives. The course material was professional, organized and easy to follow and understand. Thank you to Gill and Carla for an unbelievable experience!


Lisa Ochoa-Rangno

National Account Manager

OHM Medical Training Services Inc.

The simple skills that the MHFA framework teaches are invaluable for frontline personnel

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors course, which was put on by The Mental Health Commission of Canada and facilitated by Carla Abichahine.  It was a great course to say the least, and it has helped to prepare me to instruct fellow officers in the MHFA two day course.

I’m very pleased with the Saskatoon Police Service’s forward thinking in getting it’s officers educated and trained in this often stigmatized and misunderstood area that all police services deal with on a daily basis.

The simple skills that the MHFA framework teaches are invaluable for frontline personnel. We are not there to diagnose or act as Psychologists, but merely to apply mental first aid to those in crisis and hopefully stabilize them until they get the help they need.

I  feel the MHFA course is a  step in the right direction for educating the police on how to approach situations properly when dealing with people suffering with mental disorders. But it will also encourage us to look at our own mental health as officers and first responders as well. This will assist in emotionally bulletproofing us for our jobs on the front line, but also in our personal lives as well. With more training and acquired knowledge in the area of mental health, hopefully this will move us closer to understanding and de-stigmatizing this all too common issue.

Cst. Derek Chesney #693
Saskatoon Police Service
Saskatoon Saskatchewan

I highly recommend this course to anybody

“I am very fortunate enough to have been able to attend the 2 day Mental Health First Aid course. It made me more aware of signs and symptoms to watch out for when confronted with real-life situations of people suffering from different types of mental disorder. We tend to misunderstand individuals not knowing how to deal with them when a concern arises. I highly recommend this course to anybody—It is good to be equipped with tools that we might be able to use and create a positive impact in our society. Thanks, Carla!”

Jenny R. Maravilla
Corporate Receptionist

Overwhelmingly positive feedback

We partnered with Carla in 2014 in order to help our staff better recognize and support people with mental health challenges.

Carla’s engaging classroom facilitation combined with depth of knowledge was a perfect combination that was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Clayton J. Dean, London Drugs

I was honoured to have been trained by Carla.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Carla Abichahine for the MHFA Trainer facilitation in February, 2014.

The course content  and her passion was evident in throughout the  delivery of training. Carla demonstrated exceptional facilitation skills, and promoted a safe, engaging and respectful classroom environment. She stayed on track at all times, without compromising the needs of the participants.

Carla’s course objectives were clear and she went above and beyond to achieve the participants’ expectations. She was cognizant of the need to appeal to all learning styles, and she did so with ease.

I’ve attended numerous professional development sessions throughout my lengthy career, and I have to say that I was honoured to have been trained by Carla.  Thanks Carla!!!!

Lynda Bankley, BSW, RSW
Government of Saskatchewan
Director, Employee & Family Assistance Program

Carla’s warm personality brought life to the classroom.

Carla’s delivery of the Mental Health First Aid course was a great experience. Her enthusiasm for the subject matter combined with her warm personality brought life to the classroom.

She was forthright and honest with her own personal experiences and was compassionate with participants sharing and exchanging their own stories.

Carla’s sense of humor balanced this serious material very well and her humanity shone brightly throughout the course.

Rachelle Chinnery