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Grampians Health rolls out Mental Health First Aid Training for staff 

Grampians Health Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing Chrissie Stone (right) talks to staff member Nicole Davey during a session.

18 November 2022

As awareness about the importance of understanding the impact of mental health on activities in our daily lives grows, Grampians Health staff are being given a chance to learn how to provide initial support for those needing mental health assistance.  

Grampians Health has begun to conduct a 12-hour standard Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course, spread across two days, across all campuses to better equip its staff to provide timely mental first aid to friends, family and co-workers in need.  

The MHFA course across Grampians Health’s campuses will be conducted by employees who have undergone the instructor training.  

Mental health first aid is defined as the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, is experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or is going through a mental health crisis. Just like other forms of medical care, the first aid is given until the appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves.  

“Mental well-being is an integral part of one’s health and building our capacity to identify early signs will ensure that those experiencing with mental health challenges get the timely support needed,” said Chrissie Stone, director, health, safety and wellbeing, Grampians Health.  

“Through this course, the participants will learn to identify the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, where to get help and the kind of help that is backed by research to be effective.” 

Over 175 Grampians Health staff members have been trained through the MHFA course. Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to offer initial support to those experiencing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and substance use problems.   

The course, however, does not teach the participants to diagnose mental health problems and can only be a guide to help identify what is occurring, and help the person to seek further help.  

The MHFA course has already been rolled out in Stawell, Ballarat, Horsham and Dimboola campuses this year and will be conducted in Edenhope soon.