As we approach the mid-way point of the year, I’d like to personally congratulate and thank our amazing community of Mental Health First Aiders™ (MHFAider®) for their endless passion, commitment and work in supporting those experiencing mental health problems.

We know that being an MHFAider is rewarding, but we also acknowledge that it can take an emotional toll and the team at Mental Health First Aid® Australia are committed to providing tools, resources, and information to support you as you support those around you.

In this update we feature some incredible articles and case studies, including an exploration of men’s health, the relationship between mental health and sports and we explore the MHFA Action Plan and to remind ourselves why it remains so central to everything we teach.

We continue to be amazed by the people and communities who show up time and time again to do better for those they support, and we’re so thankful for all our MHFAiders for your constant effort. We hope you enjoy our June update.

Thank you.

Shannon Anderson
CEO Mental Health First Aid Australia

New Mental Health First Aid articles

Positive mental health conversations 

To successfully provide mental health first aid we need to focus on supportive conversations. Words are powerful. The right words, at the right time can be life changing and may even save a life. The key to a mental health first aid conversation is not just what we say, but also in how we connect with someone else and listen to them.

This article provides some conversation starters and a list of practical dos and don’ts for a successful mental health conversation. 

    Exploring men’s mental health

    Last week was Men’s Health Week internationally.

    A time for us to consider the physical, mental, social and emotional health of men and boys, and what can be done to improve their collective and individual well-being outcomes.

    Learn more about the issues impacting boys and men from all walks of life, and tips for supporting our male partners, friends and family members.

    Mental health first aid in sports

    Exercise, fresh air, social connectedness, can all have positive impact on physical, mental and social well-being.  Sporting teams, clubs and associations can also be a great place to give and receive mental health support.

    Mental Health First Aid Australia is pleased to work with many sporting and fitness organisations, and to witness the increasing role of sports in mental health literacy and skills in the community. 

    Learn more about how sporting and fitness clubs and teams are building local community capacity to support those who are experiencing mental health problems.

    Defining anxiety and anxiety disorders

    Anxiety impacts millions of Australians every year and while anxiety disorders might be common, they can vary greatly from person to person and significantly affect the way a person feels and interacts with the world around them.

    There is more to anxiety than you might think. Read our article to learn more.

    Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace and Community

    Macedon Ranges Shire

    Congratulations to Macedon Ranges Shire on becoming the second community to be recognised as a Mental Health First Aid Champion Community. Macedon Ranges Shire has demonstrated their commitment to improving mental health literacy and increasing community supports and resilience through implementation of the award-winning Live4Life mental health education and youth suicide prevention model.

    To learn more about Macedon Ranges Shire’s commitment to Mental Health First Aid training, read our in-depth case study.

    East Gippsland Drug and Alcohol Prevention Alliance
    & Local Drug Action Team

    Facilitated by the East Gippsland Primary Care Partnership, the East Gippsland Drug and Alcohol Prevention Alliance (DAPA) was created to reduce youth mental ill-health including alcohol and other drug related problems.  

    Since adopting Teen Mental Health First Aid as a key component of their harm minimisation strategy, DAPA have trained 15 staff in 6 local schools as Teen MHFA Instructors and over 130 students have participated in Teen MHFA training.

    Through demonstrating a solid commitment to MHFA Instructor training, this work continues to evolve and has the potential to reach thousands of secondary school students.

    Read more about East Gippsland DAPA’s MHFA training journey in our case study. 

    MHFAider resources

    Exploring the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

    Every mental health first aid conversation and situation is unique, which is why our Action Plan is flexible, and can be used to make the right assessments about how a conversation should progress and what actions to take.

    For those new to Mental Health First Aid, or those wishing for a refresher, we’ve taken the time to explore the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan and to remind ourselves why it remains so central to everything we teach.

    Updated resource:
    A guide to the role of a Mental Health First Aider 

    This updated resource outlines the role of an MHFAider, the supports available and and includes information about the resources available through the MHFAider Network. 

    New resource:
    Building a Mental Health First Aider network for your workplace  

    This resource is a useful tool for workplaces as they think about and build supports for Mental Health First Aiders and Mental Health First Aid Officers in their workplace.

    Webinar series: Overcoming common barriers to providing mental health first aid 

    Our team is proud to introduce our 2022 MHFAider Network Webinar series, which will explore some of the common barriers MHFAiders might experience when implementing the ALGEE Action Plan, and provide MHFAiders with practical tips to overcome them.

    To kick off this series, join Mental Health First Aid Australia Instructors, Dr. Bronwyn Robson and Deon Bird as they explore the ‘A’ of the ALGEE Action Plan – Approach, assess and assist with any crisis.

    Stay tuned for more of these webinars, which will be released in future updates.

    Latest Mental Health First Aid Articles

    Covering a wide range of current and topical issues and taking a closer look at some of the common types of mental health problems, our articles are the perfect way to enhance your knowledge and understanding.

    Take a look at what’s currently available.

    Do you have a story to share?

    Throughout 2022, we will be sharing more stories about Mental Health First Aid and the importance of good mental health. This will include stories from individuals who have completed our training and workplaces and community groups that are implementing Mental Health First Aid Courses within their organisations.

     If you are interested in sharing your MHFA story, send us an email and we’ll be in touch.

    Mental Health First Aid and ALGEE are registered trademarks of Mental Health First Aid International. MHFA, Mental Health First Aider and MHFAider are trademarks of Mental Health First Aid International 2022
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