FRIENDS OF
MHFA UPDATE

We’re excited to share two MHFA success stories in this update. The first is from a multi-faceted professional sporting club and the other is from an organic beef exporter, working in the agricultural sector. Their journey to MHFA, and experiences with the program, are very different, but a common thread running throughout both stories is the impact and reach that Mental Health First Aid training has had; not only in their workplace but also the community more broadly. We hope you enjoy learning more about these unique workplaces.

In recognition of World Schizophrenia Day, we focus on addressing many of the common misunderstandings and stigma that surround Schizophrenia.

Finally, we round-off our update with news and updates, including an overview of the Federal Budget delivered this week and what it means for mental health and suicide prevention. We’ve also included the details of our upcoming Workplace event. Spaces are limited, so make sure you register and secure your spot today!

MHFA IN THE WORKPLACE AND COMMUNITY

Richmond Institute
Mental Health, Sport & Education:
A Winning Combination

As a nation, we love our sport. Not only does it entertain, but it also promotes healthy lifestyles, connects us socially and builds resilience. But it is no surprise that high performance, high profile environments such as elite sport, can result in pressures that impact on mental health.

Recognising that good mental health is critical to delivering positive outcomes, both on and off the field, Richmond Football Club’s education arm – Richmond Institute – established a partnership with MHFA Australia to deliver Mental Health First Aid training within the Club and also the community more broadly.

Richmond Institute has ambitious plans for the future of MHFA training and through their relationships with Swinburne Institute and local sporting connections, is committed to ensuring that the next generation of sports leaders and players are equipped with mental health first aid skills. 

Learn more about the work of Richmond Institute and their commitment to helping the broader community ‘thrive and win’.

OBE Organic
Agricultural business amplifies the positive mental health message

For many agricultural businesses, mental illness can be a taboo subject. That was definitely the case for organic beef exporter, OBE Organic, where staff kept their personal lives private. In 2019 OBE leadership made the bold decision to change that narrative with the goal of destigmatizing mental ill-health in their workplace and the industry more broadly. 

OBE Organic established a Mental Health Committee and MHFA training was offered to all staff, as the business sought to improve the mental health literacy of its employees and create a more supportive working environment.

A few years on and benefits of MHFA training are evident through more open and honest dialogue, improved staff morale and the knowledge that if a situation does arise, that staff have skills and confidence needed to support one another. 

Read more about OBE Organic and their commitment to promoting positive mental health in their workplace and the agricultural industry.

MHFA UPDATE

Schizophrenia – offering support and overcoming barriers

People with any mental illness face many challenges, from accurate diagnosis and management of symptoms, through to finding the right supports for long-term management or recovery. An extra burden comes from the misconceptions, stigma and even fear about their illness. Schizophrenia is arguably one of the most misunderstood yet relatively common mental illnesses. It is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 100 Australians. While we are all familiar with the term, do we know what the illness really is?

Understanding schizophrenia means knowing how it impacts a person, acknowledging the facts, tackling dangerous myths and using the correct language. You can also show one-to-one support that makes someone with schizophrenia feel more accepted and connected.

NEWS & EVENTS

You will hear from four workplaces on the successes and challenges they have experienced while implementing MHFA training: 

Tanya Roberts, Administration Manager
Australian Wind Services 

Melissa Cameron, Advisor Health & Wellness, Evolution Mining

Michelle Cook, Senior Learning Specialist, Services Australia

Ruth Oakden, Group Manager Wellbeing, Toll Group

Workplace Networking Event 

Join us on Wednesday 16th June from 12.30 – 2.00pm AEST for our Zoom Workplace Networking Event. For workplaces considering Mental Health First Aid training the Workplace Webinar is the perfect opportunity to hear from workplaces who have successfully introduced MHFA training. 

For workplaces already running MHFA training, the Workplace Webinar provides the opportunity to talk to peers, ask questions and learn more about the innovative ways that businesses are using MHFA to improve employee well-being and workplace culture. 

There will be a short presentation from our four featured workplaces, followed by a Q & A session and the chance to have more in-depth conversations in smaller, facilitated breakout rooms. 

Places are limited. Secure your spot by registering today. 

If you have any questions, please contact our Workplace Engagement Team at Workplaces@mhfa.com.a 

$2.3 billion investment in mental health

The Federal Budget delivered this week included a substantial investment of $2.3 billion in mental health and suicide prevention funding over 4 years from 2021-22.  Funding has been allocated to a wide range of important community-based programs, services and initiatives that will address essential areas including mental health education, barriers to care and vulnerable populations.

Mental Health First Aid International welcomes the reform plan and recognition that Australians need a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventative, compassionate, and effective care. More information about the mental health and suicide prevention budget details can be found here.

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