Mental health first aid offered
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.