Youth mental health first aid training course

Image by Shutterstock.
Image by Shutterstock.

Community members are being urged to make a difference supporting young people by completing a Youth Mental Health First Aid training course.

Mental illness, and the awareness and stigma surrounding it, is a big issue in communities throughout Australia.

Australian Government health data indicated about one in six adolescents met the criteria for a mental health diagnosis in any given year.

This two-day course will teach people how to recognise a specific illness, provide initial help, seek professional support, and respond in a crisis situation, with participants able to become an accredited mental health first aid responder upon completion.

YMHFA instructor Libby Kustka said the course was for suitable for everyone.

"Whether you teach, employ, work, or live with adolescents, the YMHFA course will teach you the skills and confidence to provide mental health first aid to a young person," she said.

YMHFA teaches practical, easy to implement, and evidence-based strategies to support a young person experiencing a mental health problem, worsening of a problem, or a crisis.

Ms Kustka said the course was about helping the wider community be aware when a young person could be going through a difficult time.

"Participants will learn about adolescent development and the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, how and where to get help, and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective," she said.

"The course topics cover: developing mental health problems, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, panic attacks, substance use disorders, as well as, suicide and non-suicidal-self-injury.

"If they have had those experiences as a young person up to 26 years old or as an adolescent, then they are more likely to experience mental illness in adulthood; so early intervention is critical.

"It's about providing first aid and supporting our young people; stamping out stigma, educating people and getting together as a community to support them.

"Because, as corny as it sounds, they are the future and we need to look after them."

The course takes place on January 28 and 29, 2020 at the Margaret River Community Centre.

To register please contact Ms Kustka by emailing rkustka@gmail.com or phoning 0433 782 576.