Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Hinchinbrook puts mental health front of mind

Hinchinbrook Shire Council is offering free mental health first aid (MHFA) training to volunteers, community services, clubs, sporting groups and individuals.

The courses are being fully funded by the Commonwealth Government under the National Partnership Agreement.

“Mental health has been identified as an important and prevalent issue in Australian communities, with one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness each year. Many people are not knowledgeable or confident enough to offer assistance, even when they suspect a person could be experiencing mental health issues,” Council said in a statement.

“Members of our community such as coaches, trainers, mentors, parents, carers, school staff and other volunteers are heavily involved with youth, vulnerable people and the elderly. It is important that they have the skills to be able to identify and offer initial assistance and support to anyone experiencing mental health problems.”

The MHFA training is being provided by Mental Health First Aid Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation that develops and evaluates training programs, and trains and accredits instructors.

Council says MHFA training helps whole communities to:

•          Recognise the warning signs of mental health problems and intervene early;

•          Learn the skills needed to speak openly and accurately about mental health;

•          Respond in crisis situations where a person may be at risk of harm; and

•          Reduce stigma and increase support for people with mental health problems.

The courses are two-day comprehensive education sessions and are delivered by an Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

In February, Council will host training courses in Standard Mental Health First Aid; Youth Mental Health First Aid; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid; and Older Person Mental Health First Aid.

Latest Articles