Improving mental health literacy – Canberra

MHIST – Mental Health Intervention Skills Training is a Canberra based training organisation specialising in MHFA Australia’s award winning course   – Mental Health First Aid. Courses can be run for organisations or individuals with a minimum of at least 6 in a group. In order for a course to run there needs to be a minimum number so the best thing to do is let me know that you are interested and the dates which suit you.Almost half of the Australian population will have a mental illness at some time so it is important that every one of us is equipped with the skills to help a family member, colleague, friend, or stranger who is struggling with a mental illness. Many mental illnesses can be lived with more comfortably and some can be avoided altogether if the right intervention is used in time.

Mental illness has a significant impact on individuals, families, communities, and workplaces.

By the year 2020, depression is projected to reach 2nd place (after heart disease) of the ranking of DALYs (disability adjusted life years) calculated for all ages, both sexes. Today, depression is already the 2nd cause of DALYs in the age category 15-44 years for both sexes combined (WHO 2012).

The youth version of Mental Health First Aid is designed to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a developing mental illness and how to assist in a crisis. The course teaches adults to recognise these signs and ensure timely help is provided.

Canberra is a city with a young population. While the proportion of young people in Canberra is forecast to continue to decrease, Canberra will continue to have a higher proportion of young people than the national average. 2001 ABS data indicates that 21.9% of the population in the ACT are aged 12-25 years (74,371) compared with 19.3% nationally (Youth (12-25yrs) (ACT & Australian data: 2001 Census))

The adult version of Mental Health First Aid teaches adults how to be aware of the signs and symptoms of developing mental illness in other adults and how to assist in a crisis.

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