By Darren Stones
At the moment I am half way through the Mental Health First Aid Standard Course under the instruction of Master Instructor Joe Zammit of the Norwood Association.
Joe is an absolute gentleman, and a great instructor, too. I have learnt a great deal about Mental Health First Aid already due to his skilful presentation, and I am looking forward to completing the course this Friday.
I enjoyed spending some personal time with Joe during our lunch break last Friday in a cafe at Docklands, where we shared ideas and discussed various issues about mental health, as well as chatting about presentation methods.
The course is for anyone, and as described on the Norwood Association site it "can help you identify symptoms, causes and risk factors and teach you how to identify and respond to someone who may be suicidal, experiencing a panic attack or acute psychosis."
The 12-hour course is designed to teach adults the skills to assist adults who are experiencing symptoms, causes and risk factors related to depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance abuse.
The course can teach you how to preserve health by minimising the risk of suicide and self harm, recognise different mental health disorders, explore treatment and resources for common disorders, improve mental health literacy and help reduce stigma, and apply mental health first aid in acute situations.
Mental health first aid is designed to assist a person until professional treatment is received or until the crisis is resolved.
The Mental Health First Aid Course is an award winning course, which was developed in 2001 by Betty Kitchener and Professor Tony Jorm, with the objective to improve the mental health knowledge of members of the community.
For further information, check the Mental Health First Aid website. There you will find detailed information about the various courses offered and locations of where they are delivered throughout Australia. http://www.mhfa.com.au/
If you are in Melbourne and would like to do the course, consider booking it with the Norwood Association where you will be in the capable hands of Joe Zammit. http://www.norwoodservices.org.au/