Free mental health first aid training coming to Southern Downs

Free specialised mental health first aid courses will be on offer for Southern Downs residents starting next month. Picture: UNSPLASH

Free mental health first aid courses will be launched in Warwick and Stanthorpe next month in a step which the Southern Downs council hopes can destigmatise mental health.

The two-day training sessions will be facilitated by accredited mental health first aid instructors with participants presented a certificate valid for three years upon completion of the course.

Participants will be taught how to spot the signs of ill-mental health and ways which they can then assist, including how trained responders can look after themselves through the support process.

One session will be held each month, alternating between Stanthorpe and Warwick.

In a statement, Councillor Cynthia McDonald said early intervention can make all the difference to someone experiencing mental health difficulties.

“Identifying the signs of a person experiencing an emotional crisis and understanding the support that can initially be offered is a step towards a connected community,” Cr McDonald said.

“With one in five adults experiencing a mental health crisis each year, there’s a fair chance that someone you know or work with could experience an emotional crisis at some point,” she said.

“With the right support, mental health illnesses can be managed and improved to help individuals maintain a good mental health.

“Mental health first aid training shifts our perspective to treat mental health with the same seriousness and empathy as physical health, providing the necessary tools to offer reassurance, hope and support to those in need.

“By building a more supportive community, individuals can feel safe to discuss their mental health issues, and a supportive environment encourages people to seek help and share their experiences without fear of judgment.”

The first session will be held at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre on 17 July. All sessions will be led by an instructor from Mental Health First Aid Australia.