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Older Person Mental Health First Aid takes centre stage during Mental Health Week and Seniors Month

23 September 2021

Southern Downs Regional Council will be running a free two-day Older Person Mental Health First Aid training course on 14 and 15 October as part of its commitment to support the activities of Queensland Mental Health Week (QMHW) and Queensland Seniors Month 2021.

The 2021 QMHW theme ‘Take time for mental health’ reminds us all to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have a lived experience of mental illness and during the week a variety of inclusive events across Queensland aim to highlight these issues through positive social connections.

Council’s Older Person Mental Health First Aid training course is targeted at adults, particularly those who work with, live with or care for older people, including families and carers. Participants will be empowered with tools to act as mental health first aid responders for a senior person who may be experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis, whilst the appropriate professional help is requested or the crisis is resolved.

Using a practical, evidence based action plan, participants can gain valuable knowledge about the most common and disabling mental health problems in older people, how to provide initial help, where and how to get professional help, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective and how to provide first aid in a crisis situation.

Council’s own Mental Health First Aid accredited trainers, Michael Bell and Dani Kinnear will be facilitating this course.

Southern Downs Councillor and advocate for mental health, Councillor Andrew Gale says the opportunity is there for everyone to take a moment and think about the importance of mental health.

“The opportunity to understand the importance of mental health in our everyday lives has never been more accessible to anyone dealing with a lived experience or caring for someone who is affected. A free, accredited course like this will be a bonus in anyone’s mental health first aid toolkit,” Councillor Gale said.

“Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act and it also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices and, for older people, these issues become harder to navigate with age. Knowing they are in trusted trained hands will go a long way to give your nan or pop the mental security they need in an emergency.”

Queensland Seniors Month provides opportunities to promote positive community attitudes towards older people and ageing, facilitate community participation and enhance community connections. The theme for 2021 is Social Connections - reinforcing the importance of bringing together different generations to celebrate the essential role that older people play in society.

RSVPs are essential to attend the Older Person Mental Health First Aid training course and can be done by contacting Council’s Community Development Officer Gwen Murphy 1300 697 372 gwen.murphy@sdrc.qld.gov.au. Please provide your name, email address, phone/mobile and details of any special dietary requirements at time of booking.

The Older Person Mental Health First Aid training course is an initiative funded by the Queensland Government, Tackling Regional Adversity through Integrated Care grant program.

Course details:

When:   Thursday 14 and Friday 15 October 2021

Time:     8.30am – 4.30pm each day (including morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)

Where:  Stanthorpe Civic Centre

RSVP:  5pm Thursday 7 October 2021: Gwen Murphy 1300 697 372 or gwen.murphy@sdrc.qld.gov.au

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