I have been fortunate to be part of the Standard Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course this week.
The course is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, because it had been recommended by so many people and I thought that it would be a wonderful tool to have in my job and in volunteer roles.
I’ve got to say that the course blew me away. It challenged me to re-think reactions, it increased my awareness of the mental health challenges that people are going through and it gave me a lot to think about in terms of overall health. Not just physical health.
After completing the online course prior to the facilitated sessions was really beneficial, giving the time to reflect and complete when I had time. We received a Mental Health First Aid manual as part of the course.
The SMHFA course teaches you how to provide initial support to other adults who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves, using a practical, evidence-based Action Plan.
Facilitator Steven Gamble has been delivering programs through Man Anchor since 2017 to promote positive change in the way that health, and in particular, mental health is addressed. Man Anchor has grown into a movement that supports both male and female mental wellbeing through education and awareness, believing that through education and awareness programs they can empower the community to create positive change and a sustainable model to support the wellbeing of friends, family and the wider community.
Man Anchor are working to educate and empower the community to have tools to support their own wellbeing and that of the wider community. In Australia, one in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. 45% of Australians will live with a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
This course would not be possible without the support of Gotcha4Life! Nine Australians take their own life every day. Gotcha4Life are working hard to help Australians build mental fitness. Many of you would remember our visit with Gus and Vicky Worland last year. They are still working hard to engage, educate and empower to end suicide.
If you have the opportunity to do this course, I would highly recommend taking the opportunity!