Club’s course on mental health skills

January 24, 2022 BY

Thoughtful: Zonta Bendigo president Raelene Schmidt and mental health first aid program coordinator Jan Buckland. Photo: KATIE MARTIN

THE Zonta Club of Bendigo is taking expressions of interest for a two-day mental health first aid course.

The all-day classes scheduled for 19 February and 5 March will seek to teach participants how to help people struggling with their own wellbeing.

Program coordinator Jan Buckland said the course is aimed at supporting family, friends or others who could already feel comfortable confiding in you.

“Often with someone who might talk to you, you’re never quite sure how you respond to them,” she said.

“The course covers depression, anxiety and substance abuse in your family or workplace and how you might do the right thing.

“It’s not trying to turn people into psychologists or therapists or anything like that. It’s about giving people the supports to know what to do when someone is having trouble.”

The course is subsidised using funding raised by Zonta Bendigo and a $5000 grant from UFS Pharmacies.

Ms Buckland said a place could cost about $250 through other providers, but with a $25 fee for the club’s course, they have a preference for women who would otherwise not be able to cover the cost and participate.

The classes are led by a qualified mental health first aid trainer and give participants practical resources they can use in everyday situations.

“You have a list of the places where you might be able to refer people for help or instead of saying ‘oh don’t worry about it’, you’ll know the correct things to say to encourage them to seek help,” Ms Buckland said.

For more information, head to the Zonta Bendigo Facebook page.