Men­tal health first aid of­fered

Waihi Leader - - News -

St John has just launched its Men­tal Health First Aid train­ing course, say­ing that we can all step up to help the one in five Ki­wis fac­ing a men­tal health chal­lenge each year.

St John Na­tional Pro­gramme and De­vel­op­ment Man­ager Gabrielle Wild­bore says that be­ing the eyes and ears of the health sys­tem, St John Am­bu­lance Of­fi­cers are re­spond­ing to grow­ing num­bers of men­tal health-re­lated call­outs.

“Many of these call-outs are peo­ple in a state of cri­sis,” he says.

“We’ve de­vel­oped Men­tal Health First Aid to play our part in giv­ing Ki­wis a frame­work and the con­fi­dence to have these con­ver­sa­tions, to know that they are do­ing the right thing in of­fer­ing ini­tial sup­port, and also to know how to di­rect peo­ple to pro­fes­sional help.”

The new course pro­vides a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween men­tal health and dis­or­der, and po­ten­tial red flags, strate­gies for manag­ing the ini­tial sup­port of friends, fam­ily and col­leagues safely, and in­for­ma­tion on ob­tain­ing im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance if nec­es­sary.

The St John Men­tal Health First Aid train­ing course is de­signed to be ac­ces­si­ble for ev­ery­one and will cater for in­di­vid­u­als and groups.

About 450 or­gan­i­sa­tions and mem­bers of the pub­lic have al­ready ex­pressed in­ter­est in com­plet­ing the course.

■ To reg­is­ter, vis­its www.stjohn.org.nz/MHFA (min­i­mum three peo­ple) but spe­cial re­quests can be sent to St John’s web­site, un­der the ‘Con­tact us’ sec­tion.

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