The mental health first aid training provides participants with skills to recognise those in need, provide initial support and connect with professional help.
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GEELONG Connected Communities has brought together several Geelong organisations to deliver a free mental health first aid program to support locals.
The partnership between Geelong Connected Communities, GMHBA and genU will see the courses offered free of charge to representatives of local community organisations.
The growing mental health crisis, exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID pandemic, led the Geelong Connected Communities board to explore options for programs that would have maximum impact across the region.
The mental health first aid short course, delivered by genU training and funded by Geelong Connected Communities with support from GMHBA, has a focus on early intervention.
It provides participants with skills to recognise those in need, provide initial support and connect with professional help.
“The COVID pandemic has certainly challenged the Geelong community and impacted on the mental health and wellbeing of many,” Geelong Connected Communities chair Roger Grant said.
“In recognition of the impact on mental health Geelong Connected Communities has initiated and partnered with our sponsors to work with GenU to deliver a range of mental health training programs.
“These training options are designed to assist community organisations to support their communities through these challenging times.
“We are pleased to once again be able to assist the Geelong community and connect with the many clubs and organisations to support their members.”
Geelong Connected Communities has invested in the program and will offer participation to people involved in community organisations across the Geelong region.
It will result in more trained local people with the confidence to provide initial support and encouragement for at-risk people to engage with professional services.
“GMHBA are proud to support the Mental Health First Aid training initiative in partnership with genU and Geelong Connected Communities,” GMHBA chief of Geelong and regional Matt Vagg said.
“Equipping and empowering our business and community partners with these crucial skills helps to ensure that our communities are well supported in times of need, and able to live healthier lives.”
The mental health education programs will be delivered by industry expert and genU Training mentor Jules Haddock.
“With one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness, it is imperative mental health and wellbeing are prioritised within the workplace and our communities,” genU Training industry projects manager Kelly Gluyas said.
“Raising awareness and encouraging conversations around mental health will reduce stigma and create change in society.”
Geelong Connected Communities is a community company established for the benefit of every Geelong resident.
Co-ordinating financial support from partners and sponsors, it delivers an ongoing grant program for voluntary and not-for-profit groups across the region.
In eight years of operation, it has delivered grants worth $2 million.
For more information and bookings for the program, head to the genU Training website.