Mental Health First Aid: July-August courses

In 2016, the AVA supported a Mental Health First Aid pilot program to assist our members to provide initial support to their colleagues and staff who may be developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. This initiative was part of our broader strategy around health and wellbeing for our members.

Mental Health First Aid workshops are being held again across the country in 2017 in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart and Perth during July and August. The course will be run again later in the year during October and November in Townsville, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide.

The 2-day course aims to increase the awareness and understanding of mental health problems, suicide and preventative strategies. It also aims to increase the capacity of the profession to prevent and respond to anxiety, depression and suicide. The overarching goal is to eventually have a mental health first aid officer in every veterinary workplace, increasing our capacity and capability to respond to staff and colleagues at potential tipping points and points of imminent risk.

What is mental health first aid?

Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who  is developing a mental health problem or who is in a mental health crisis (e.g. the person is suicidal or has had a traumatic experience). Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves. Mental health first aid strategies are taught in evidence-based training courses authored by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and delivered by accredited MHFA instructors across the country. The AVA is offering a MHFA course with instructor Rosie Overfield. Rosie is a certified trainer for the MHFA Program; she works for AIRC/Crampton Consulting, which is part of Provet. The program has been tailored for the veterinary profession and will be delivered over 2 days.

What will attendees take away from the course?

In addition to the 2-days of intensive training, delegates will take away:

  • a 140-page manual that will be used and referenced throughout the course
  • information sheets (by state) with details of other services available
  • fact sheets to assist with mental health first aid.

Similar to a workplace first aid program, mental health first aid is certified.

How do I get involved?

You can find out more or register online.



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