In our present society, there is no shame that revolves around physical health issues. We talk about it; we freely consult doctors about our conditions; we proudly wear ribbons and walk for illnesses like breast cancer, all without fear of being judged

But what about our mental health?

People are more inclined to believe in an illness that they are able to see and understand. Although we have come along way in normalizing mental health, there is still a shroud of secrecy with mental illness because of the preconceptions that people have about them.

In my field of work, I have encountered a handful of people with mental health issues – anxiety, addiction, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia and more. Most of them under 21’s or considered as young adults. In many cases, there are stressors associated with young adulthood that might serve as a trigger such as going to college, exam stresses, social media and the thought taking responsibility and living away from home.

With the explosion in anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders among young adults, I can see the need for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training in every school. I’d take this opportunity to explain what Mental Health First Aid really is and why we all need one.

Mental Health First Aid is the initial help offered to a person who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The MHFA training course is designed to close the gap between preventative measures and medical interventions. In this course, you will be taught how to spot the signs and symptoms of several mental illnesses and how to handle it until professional help can be sought and provided.

Attending a 12-hour training program will give you a fresh perspective, from discussions about the development of the adolescent brain to a sensitive approach and non-judgment listening. It will provide you with some fantastic insights and practical skills to effectively guide a young adult towards the right support.

From a school perspective, the MHFA Training will make the staff and teachers moved from a position of uncertainty to a place where they feel confident in taking responsibility for serious matters. If approached by students, they know the right questions to ask and able to start a supportive conversation.

MHFA training is one tool used by thousands of schools globally to give their staff the skills and confidence to address mental health issues. It is crucial for this training to be rolled out because teachers and other school staffs have a vital role to play in helping the youth who may be experiencing mental ill-health.

Prioritizing future generations’ wellbeing is important to create a mentally healthy world where everyone can thrive.

Currently, there are over 2.6 million people trained in Mental Health First Aid worldwide, and you can be one of them. Join the #IAmOneMHFA and encourage everyone to sign up to an MHFA Course.

For more information on Mental Health First Aid courses, visit https://firstaidcoursestasmania.com.au/