Mental Health First Aid Australia

Mental Health First Aid Australia

The home of Mental Health First Aid® in Australia and Internationally First aid is the help given to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained.

Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves. A mental health crisis can take many forms, examples include; a person who feels suicidal, a person having an anxiety attack, a person in an acute stress reaction, a person

Federal budget a promising start, but more is needed for whole-of-sector mental health reform 16/05/2024

Mental Health First Aid International welcomes the Albanese Government’s 2024–25 Federal Budget which will invest $361 million over the next four years to expand the range of free mental health services for Australians.

Angus Clelland, CEO of Mental Health First Aid International, says the global health promotion charity is pleased to see $139.9m for a new, free national early intervention service, noting that this will be crucial in helping people get earlier access to the support they need.

“We also applaud the allocation of $29.9 million to the expansion of care through the Medicare Mental Health Centres, building on the established Head to Health network.”

He says that while these are important steps in the right direction, and will help tens of thousands of Australians, more needs to be done to bring much needed early intervention, prevention and mental health awareness training programs into schools and universities.

“Investing in these programs in schools and universities will not only increase mental health literacy and reduce stigma during critical years, but it will also give people the knowledge and skills they need to assist others and encourage help seeking earlier. In the long run, this will reduce the burden on the health system.”

Read the full media release:

Federal budget a promising start, but more is needed for whole-of-sector mental health reform Learn more about the benefits of embedding Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace, community, school or tertiary institution.

16/05/2024

Our CEO Angus Clelland is in Canberra today, attending the Mental Health Australia Policy Forum, where the Assistant Minister for Mental Health Emma McBride MP and Health Minister Mark Butler MP are this morning discussing the 2024 federal budget.

On behalf of Mental Health First Aid International, Angus Clelland says: “The budget’s focus on expanding the range of free mental health services will play a vital role in strengthening Australia’s mental health and su***de prevention system, but national workforce shortages will act as a brake unless workforce shortages are prioritised.

“There is much more investment needed, and much more we can do, to reduce the impact of mental health problems on individuals and in families, communities, education settings and workplaces across Australia.”

Read our full media release: https://www.mhfa.com.au/federal-budget-a-promising-start-but-more-is-needed-for-whole-of-sector-mental-health-reform

10/05/2024

In the latest issue of Rotary Down Under, MHFA co-founder Tony Jorm reflects on the humble beginnings of Mental Health First Aid, and how a conversation with his wife and co-founder Betty Kitchener became the catalyst for an international movement.

Now delivered in almost 30 countries, the program continues to make a huge impact across the globe – even being championed by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, who recognised the crucial need for young people to have mental health first aid skills to support each other.

The team at Mental Health First Aid Australia and the University of Melbourne are now preparing the next chapter in our story, with the development of the Mental Health First Aid for Supporting Children course that will teach equip adults with the skills to support primary school-aged children experiencing mental health problems.

Read the articles on page 28-29: https://epubs.media/rotarydownunder/ezine/2024/671/



09/05/2024

Victoria and Jen, the duo behind the Hand to the Land initiative, recently sat down with The Morning Show to talk about the need to bring mental health training into regional and rural communities across Australia.

Victoria lost her sister to su***de 20 years ago, and is now on a mission to equip people in rural and regional communities with the skills to intervene early and make a positive difference in mental health.

The Hand to the Land team, on behalf of Country Education Foundation of Australia, are turning to Mental Health First Aid training to increase support, break down stigma, and prepare individuals to become “first responders” when family, friends and colleagues are experiencing mental health problems or crises.

Watch the clip to learn more:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=675308911347865

Jill's Story 08/04/2024

Jill is a seasoned nurse, mental health educator and Licensed Mental Health First Aid Instructor who has seen first-hand the impact that mental health literacy skills can have on the healthcare sector and communities more broadly.

“Every time [I delivered training] – and I can guarantee this every time I did it – It was a door opening for more than one person who attended the session."

Jill's Story Jill, a nurse and seasoned Licensed MHFA Instructor has witnessed first-hand the profound impact that mental health first aid skills can have on healthcare and communities.

Why prioritising self-care is vital to lead through turbulent times 03/04/2024

Employees are more engaged in their work by leaders who are able to walk the walk, not just talk the talk when it comes to prioritising mental health and wellbeing.

Acknowledging that good performance is only possible while looking after everyone's mental health is key.

Leaders need smart strategies and tools to make sure the team stays strong mentally and performs well.

Mental Health First Aid training can be an invaluable way for teams to recognise when self-care needs to be prioritised.

Why prioritising self-care is vital to lead through turbulent times High performance is a necessity, but it can't be sustained on the roller coaster of ups and downs without prioritising wellbeing. 

Photos from Mental Health First Aid Australia's post 27/03/2024

Progress over Perfection EVERY TIME

Prioritising and looking after your mental health is a lifelong practice - a journey of progress, not a race to perfection.

The best thing you can do for yourself and to support those around you is to take things one day at a time, and not try to take on too much all at once.

In the pursuit of mental wellness, each step forward, no matter how small, is a victory🏆

Celebrate the small wins and learn from any setbacks you may experience on the way. You’re allowed to take time and energy to focus on where you are at right now.

The Perth Mint – Investing in internal MHFA training 26/03/2024

“We spend so much of our time at work.

It makes perfect sense that employers focus not only on protecting people from harm, but also on improving their overall well-being and sending them home better at the end of each day.”

Since 2018, the The Perth Mint has trained more than 100 employees in Mental Health First Aid, and has made training an integral part of their well-being and inclusion program.

The Perth Mint – Investing in internal MHFA training The Perth Mint shares the benefits of an internal Licensed Mental Health First Aid Instructor and continuous staff training in developing a mentally healthy workplace.

Why no organisation can afford to laugh off employee stress | theHRD 26/03/2024

Managing workplace stress and mental health is not all about policy and process.

Employees should feel safe to talk about their mental health if they need to - without fear of repercussions.

Mental Health First Aid training can help provide a solid foundation for workplaces to build on, and to empower staff to look out for one another.

Why no organisation can afford to laugh off employee stress | theHRD Discover the staggering impact of workplace stress on employee well-being and organisational productivity. With mental health challenges on the rise, organisations must prioritise proactive measures to support their workforce.

Navigating misconceptions in mental health conversations 14/03/2024

To help combat misconceptions around , we've outlined some useful tips that may help you to guide your conversations, and remain confident when offering support.

Navigating misconceptions in mental health conversations Addressing the unique challenges and diverse experiences within the LGBTIQA+ community is crucial to fostering environments where individuals can feel safe, welcome and acknowledged.

How to support staff mental health in your small business - Inside Small Business 12/03/2024

Whether you're currently worried about the mental health of one of your employees, or you just want to be more prepared to support your colleagues, Inside Small Business has shared a practical guide to navigating mental health with your team.

"Know the signs and encourage professional help... Consider offering Mental Health First Aid training to key team members. The training equips individuals with the skills to recognise signs of mental health issues and provide initial support."

How to support staff mental health in your small business - Inside Small Business Be open to allowing your team to take mental health days - sometimes a short break can make all the difference in managing stress.

Are You a ‘Floor Person’? Why Lying on the Ground Feels So Good 12/03/2024

Would you support a designated floorspace to lie down at work?

For some, lying on the floor can be a helpful way to feel relaxed, more grounded, more in control and can be an "additional strategy that you can use when you feel like you need to."

Via The New York Times.

Are You a ‘Floor Person’? Why Lying on the Ground Feels So Good For some, just a few minutes can quiet the mind.

How to get students engaged in learning at the start of a new school year 27/02/2024

A recent study found one in four secondary students and one in seven primary school students report having a mental health condition - ultimately leading to psychological problems in their adult life.

All teaching and support staff at Waverley College are fully trained in Mental Health First Aid - and their approach to wellbeing is successful because it builds a strong sense of belonging and community.

How to get students engaged in learning at the start of a new school year The Educator speaks to James Horrocks, Head of Wellbeing at Waverley College

Harriet's Story 19/02/2024

"The training will be something I carry with me for life."

Harriet, a graphic designer at Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation, found that her newly learned Mental Health First Aid skills became crucial when she stopped to help a man in crisis.

Harriet's Story Harriet completed her Mental Health First Aid training in 2020. Her newfound skills were crucial when she helped a man in crisis, highlighting the practical importance of mental health awareness in real-life situations.

What to do when the 'great November disease' lingers into the New Year 15/02/2024

"[It's] the belief that if I can just get to Christmas and fall over the finishing line, then, in December, it will all come good. And by January, it'll all be fixed."

Read the full ABC Australia report on recognising the signs of burnout, and advice from Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Dan, on how you can make some positive changes.

What to do when the 'great November disease' lingers into the New Year Working long hours can be stressful. While a break can help, what happens when the holiday is over, you've returned to work, and that sense of tiredness still lingers?

New year, new mindset: top strategies for mental resilience 07/02/2024

As the new year haze has started to lift, an inevitable return to normal can easily start to eclipse our self-made promises of fresh starts and new beginnings.

Don't let your routine dictate your wellbeing. Explore our helpful strategies for mental resilience, and for staying true to your goals.

New year, new mindset: top strategies for mental resilience Addressing the unique challenges and diverse experiences within the LGBTIQA+ community is crucial to fostering environments where individuals can feel safe, welcome and acknowledged.

Mental Health First Aid Stories 01/02/2024

Mental Health First Aid Australia is pleased to officially launch our first series of Mental Health First Aid Stories.

These stories are a collection of real-life accounts of mental health first aid conversations. With contributions from our Mental Health First Aider community, MHFA Instructors and staff, these stories showcase each person's unique experience and the impact that these vital conversations can have – both on an individual and the community more broadly.

Our goal is to highlight the power of mental health conversations and the positive effects they can have.

The voices of those with a lived experience of mental health problems form the core of our work at Mental Health First Aid® Australia, shaping our interactions with the people we support, live with, and care for.

Mental Health First Aid training empowers individuals with the skills and confidence to identify the common signs and symptoms of mental health problems in family members, friends, co-workers and those we know. It provides guidance on offering support and directing individuals toward the help they need.

The strength of a mental health first aid conversation lies in its ability to offer support, reduce stigma, and our courses serve as a bridge to professional care by guiding individuals on how to offer support and connect those in need to appropriate resources and support.

Learn more about the series and read these impactful stories here.

Mental Health First Aid Stories Learn more about the benefits of embedding Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace, community, school or tertiary institution.

Mental health first aid training on offer in Coffs Harbour - News Of The Area 31/01/2024

“With one trained person helping ten, and each of them helping one more, the benefits ripple out over time, saving and changing lives."

More than 50 people in City of Coffs Harbour received accreditation through Mental Health First Aid Australia, with that number increasing to approximately 300 participants across the Novaskill footprint.

Instructor Andrew Simons is hoping to change the way the Coffs Harbour community views mental health and mental illness, by bringing mental health first aid training to the region.

“I want to help our Coffs Harbour community to be able to recognise, support and assist persons experiencing a mental illness or undergoing a mental health crisis. It will make our community stronger and safer."

Mental health first aid training on offer in Coffs Harbour - News Of The Area ‘IF I’d known then what I know now’ is a driving mantra behind the new work of Coffs Harbour’s Andrew Simons in the mental health space. “I am on a mission to change the way members of the Coffs Harbour community view mental health and mental illness,” Andrew told News Of The Area. Adver...

Photos from Mental Health First Aid Australia's post 23/01/2024

Self-care looks different for everyone, but it all starts with the decision to make time and space for what you need to feel safe.

Part of this inevitably means going out of your way to create this space, whether with words or actions, and can sometimes lead to others misunderstanding or shaming your boundaries.

Prioritising wellness, and acknowledging that it's an ongoing commitment, is a choice that should be celebrated whether at work, at home or at school.

Here are some helpful guiding thoughts, and language, that may help you in deciding what self-care looks like for you.

And to those who are supporting others, or being met with boundaries different to theirs, remember not to judge, to actively listen and think critically about whether your own words may be putting someone’s progress in jeopardy.

Visit mhfa.com.au/resources-support/ for more resources, stories and tips from Mental Health First Aid Australia.

I tried a 2-week negativity fast. Here’s how it went 22/01/2024

Making the conscious decision to prioritise and look after your mental health is an important one.

While this can look different for all of us, and can range from drawing clear boundaries around how you spend your time, to exploring mindfulness, or pursuing a creative outlet, it's a choice that should be celebrated whether at work, at home or at school.

But no matter how lofty our mental health goals or new years resolutions may be, maintaining your wellbeing is a marathon - not a sprint. Many people can feel good - great even - and still worry that their mood may shift, and it's easy to feel like we're constantly taking one step forward and two steps back when this happens.

This article below shares some interesting insights into how we can choose to spend more time in a positive state versus a negative one.

"... a lot of the messages in today’s world are negative. It’s easy to become immune to the heaviness, and you may not realise how much its constant drum beat impacts you."

Limiting the news you consume, practicing gratitude and choosing positivity wherever possible, could all be helpful in how you choose to look after your wellbeing.

I tried a 2-week negativity fast. Here’s how it went Want to be more positive in 2024? Here's how to know if a negativity fast might be right for you.

19/01/2024

Workplaces have a big role to play towards wellbeing. In 2021-2022 in Victoria, more than 4000 claims received by WorkSafe Victoria were for mental injuries.

The Victorian Mentally Healthy Workplaces Framework has been developed in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health, and prioritises key action areas – safety, education, wellbeing, inclusion and performance.

The Framework aims to support all Victorian workplaces and workers to thrive within their working environment.

Visit vic.gov.au/victorian-mentally-healthy-workplaces-framework to find out more or read more from the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission in the post below.

Treasure Jennings, the Chair Commissioner of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (MHWC) was a member of the working group chaired by the Premier, for the Victorian Mentally Healthy Workplaces Framework (the Framework) designed to promote, protect and respond to mental health and wellbeing in Victorian workplaces.

The Framework has been developed in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health. The Framework prioritises key action areas – safety, education, wellbeing, inclusion and performance and aims to support all Victorian workplaces and workers to thrive within their working environment. The Framework also includes a suite of tools designed to help implement and progress the Framework. Visit https://go.vic.gov.au/3TdUNqO to find out more.

As part of its role, the MHWC remains committed to holding the government to account for delivering the recommendations of the Royal Commission. Read more about our Strategic Direction by going to https://go.vic.gov.au/47IfWwO

Health

Photos from Mental Health First Aid Australia's post 03/01/2024

It’s no secret that a new year can bring with it feelings of increased apprehension and anxiety… (and that was before the pandemic).

An important part about normalising conversations around means recognising that living with anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems is a marathon, not a sprint.

A new year can bring with it a sense of optimism and enthusiasm, and resolutions can be a helpful way to feel like you're making a fresh start.

But what may feel comforting in theory can become prescriptive and restrictive over time. We can certainly all be our own harshest critic - don't fall into a trap of trying to take on too much.

Here are some helpful, and sustainable, resolutions that might help you to start your year off right.

Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research 03/01/2024

Close to 80% of employees said they were more engaged in their work by leaders that showed empathy.

To start 2024 prioritising mental health in the workplace, remember empathy is not something you just need to reserve for friends, family or those in crisis.

Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research You always knew demonstrating empathy is positive for people, but new research demonstrates its importance for everything from innovation to retention.

How to prepare for a mentally healthy new year 02/01/2024

Remember, you don't need to force new years resolutions that aren't sustainable for your overall health and wellbeing.

It’s OK to make change in an affirming and self-compassionate way.

How to prepare for a mentally healthy new year Learn more about the benefits of embedding Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace, community, school or tertiary institution.

Articles 27/12/2023

The desire to help someone in need can make it tempting to jump straight into a conversation.

But where possible, remember you're allowed - and encouraged - to take time to prepare.

If you're looking for more information on how to help those you care about over the holidays, and in the spirit of being prepared for the new year, take the time to catch up on our recent articles to learn some practical tips for promoting positive mental health practices and for supporting someone who may be experiencing a mental health problem.

Articles Learn more about the benefits of embedding Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace, community, school or tertiary institution.

Loneliness and isolation over the holidays 21/12/2023

Normalise mental health and support seeking this Christmas, and don't be too hard on yourself if you're finding it’s not all tinsel and baubles this year.

Whether it's family dynamics, grief or financial pressures, here are some of the more common stressors you may be experiencing, together with some practical tips on how to care for yourself and others 💚❤️🤍💚❤️🤍

Loneliness and isolation over the holidays Learn more about the benefits of embedding Mental Health First Aid training in your workplace, community, school or tertiary institution.

20/12/2023

Please be advised that the Mental Health First Aid Australia office will be closed from 5pm, Friday 22 December, reopening Wednesday 10 January.

A limited number of staff will be back from Monday 2 January to address any enquiries.

We wish you all a happy and safe holiday break 🎄💚

Photos from Mental Health First Aid Australia's post 13/12/2023

It’s important to remember that not everyone looks forward to the holiday season.

For some, the festive season can be a time of heightened stress, sadness, anxiety, and even suicidal risk - which is why conversations that normalise mental health and support-seeking are so important.

As 2023 draws to a close and we gear up for Christmas and New Year, we encourage you to stop and think about others and offer support to those around you who may be struggling.

Photos from Mental Health Australia's post 28/11/2023

Thank you to Taryn Brumfitt and Mental Health Australia for an inspiring evening at the Grace Groom Memorial Lecture in Canberra last night.

It was great to hear Taryn, this year’s Australian of the Year, share her story of her body image advocacy that has inspired a global movement and the launch of the Embrace Kids program.

The program focuses on the prevention of body image issues through age-appropriate, evidence-based resources that promote body appreciation, self-esteem and resilience, and aim to enhance the protective factors that improve mental health.

Learn more >> http://theembracehub.com/about-the-hub/

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Mental First Health First Aid

Whilst people often know a lot about common physical health problems, ignorance of mental health is prevalent. Regular first aid courses are widespread, however most of these courses do not address helping with mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training aims to fill this gap.

Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.

MHFA Australia trains instructors in Mental Health First Aid courses, to allow these Instructors to deliver MHFA training in their community and workplaces.

Find out more at mhfa.com.au

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