November 2015

In this issue: 

One million Mental Health First Aiders trained around the world!

In October the MHFA Australia team celebrated reaching the milestone of one million Mental Health First Aiders trained around the world in June 2015. Betty Kitchener, CEO and founder of the MHFA Program: "The MHFA Program is in rapid growth in many countries across the world and it will only be a matter of years when the two millionth MHFAider will be trained."

Read an ABC article highlighting the growth of the MHFA Program here.

First MHFA International Summit held in Canada

With generous support from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, representatives from eight overseas MHFA Programs joined together in September in Vancouver to further accelerate the MHFA movement worldwide. Among the programs were... Australia, Bermuda, Canada, England, Finland, Ireland, Japan and the USA. MHFA Australia will be helping all overseas MHFA Programs to keep in line with the new editions of the MHFA Australia curricula so that all MHFA programs remain similar and as evidence-based as possible.


The Netherlands joins our program

More than 20 countries have licenced the program from Australia. The Netherlands is the most recent country to gain a culturally adapted version of the MHFA Australia program. 
In the last week of October a wonderful team of mental health professionals and consumers from GGzE and Mondriaan - two large mental health services based in the south of the Netherlands, worked with Betty Kitchener and Gloria Claessen from MHFA Australia to begin the process to adopt the Standard and Youth MHFA Programs for the Netherlands. 

Mental Health First Aid Officers in the Workplace

We believe that every workplace should help promote good mental health, prevent mental illness and have the tools to support people with mental health problems. To help achieve this, we believe that:

1. Every workplace should offer Mental Health First Aid training to their workers
2. Every worksite should appoint at least the same number of Mental Health First Aid Officers as First Aid Officers.

Here is your guide to implementing Mental Health First Aid in your workplace.

Find out why MHFA is suitable workplace training and what training options are available.

Case Study: Lendlease introduces Mental Health First Aid Officers

Lendlease's experience

Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group located in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and with around 12,600 employees worldwide, Lendlease’s capabilities span the entire property value chain. A global health assessment of the organisation in 2013 revealed that 16 per cent of employees globally were at high risk of developing depression and just over 9 per cent experienced stress related to work.

MHFA officers are to be found in Lendlease project teams and offices across Australia and comprise a mix of site foremen, HR professionals, engineers, sustainability officers, shopping centre employees and retirement village managers. MHFA officers are selected based on their “lived” or professional experience with mental illness, as well as the completion of pre-requisite mental health programs available via the company.

So far, more than 230 employees globally have been accredited as MHFA Officers, 150 of who are in the company’s Australian operation. There have been multiple instances where officers have been able to step in and help out.

Read the MHFA Lendlease case study here
Read The Age's article on Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace featuring Lendlease

Bulk Enrolments are now available for eLearning courses!

We are pleased to announce that bulk enrolments are now available for our White-Collar Workplace eLearning course and Pharmacy eLearning course.
eLearning bulk enrolments are purchased in the form of vouchers (which do not expire until use), which the purchaser can distribute to course participants. Discounts apply for purchases of 11 or more vouchers. Visit our shop for more information about bulk enrolments today! 

Research and Evaluation

Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for Gambling Problems 

In order to improve the quality of the techniques being taught to the public, MHFA Australia and researchers from the University of Melbourne have developed guidelines on what constitutes best practice mental health first aid, as informed by expert consenus. The latest guidelines are about how a family member, friend or co-worker can support a person who is experiencing gambling problems.

If you are concerned about someone who is struggling with gambling problems but are unsure how to help, these guidelines are for you. 
Please download this flyer to share with your contacts

Your feedback is important to us! Download the guidelines and complete two quick surveys so we can evaluate these guidelines.
View the Gambling Guidelines here

Article: Australians understand depression, so why don’t we ‘get’ anxiety?

by Prof. Anthony Jorm, Co-founder and Chair of MHFA Australia 

(Image source: The Conversation)
Australians are less likely to see a person with an anxiety disorder as warranting professional help, though they come a long way in understanding depression.

This article generated a lot of interest on social media this month.
Read Anthony Jorm's article on The Conversation here

MHFA in the Community

Philippa Harris has been selected as a Queensland finalist for the 2016 Senior Australian of the Year Award.

Congratulations to Principal Master MHFA Instructor and Townsville mental health advocate Philippa Harris!

Read Philippa's interview here 

Reducing the stigma of mental illness

Standard Instructor, Adrian Ljubic works for the Department of Human Services and was recently interviewed for 'NewsHub', the Department's online news page which is viewed by 36,000 staff across the country. 

Since the article was published the Department of Human Services have had an influx of MHFA queries.

Keep up the great work Adrian!

Read full article here

Want to know what you can do to raise a resilient teenager?

Parents can play an important role in protecting their teenagers from mental health problems like depression and anxiety.  Researchers from Monash University and the University of Melbourne are looking for parents of 12 to 15 year olds to take part in a free trial of a personalised online parenting  program. The program offers practical strategies parents can use to support their teenager’s mental health. Find out more at  or see the attached flyer.

         Visit the Christmas TraveLeague website here

Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplaces since August

An update on workplaces that have been recognised since August 2015.
View all our Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplaces here

2016 Instructor Training

Do you have experience in mental health and training? Apply to become an Instructor! 

View our current Instructor Training Course calendar. 

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