Council bridges the gap with free mental health first aid training

13 Jun 2024 |
13 June 2024

Southern Downs Regional Council is stepping up to be part of the solution in tackling and destigmatising mental health by offering free mental health first aid training courses in Warwick and Stanthorpe.

Facilitated by accredited mental health first aid instructors, the two-day courses aim to improve mental health literacy and spark quality conversations that improve help-seeking behaviour and resilience.

Southern Downs Councillor Cynthia McDonald said early intervention during a mental health crisis is essential for preventing escalation, reducing long-term impact, promoting recovery and ensuring safety to improve the individual's quality of life.

“Identifying the signs of a person experiencing an emotional crisis and understanding the support that can initially be offered is a step towards a connected community,” Councillor McDonald said.

“With one in five adults experiencing a mental health crisis each year, there’s a fair chance that someone you know or work with could experience an emotional crisis at some point.

“With the right support, mental health illnesses can be managed and improved to help individuals maintain a good mental health.

“Mental health first aid training shifts our perspective to treat mental health with the same seriousness and empathy as physical health, providing the necessary tools to offer reassurance, hope and support to those in need.

“By building a more supportive community, individuals can feel safe to discuss their mental health issues, and a supportive environment encourages people to seek help and share their experiences without fear of judgment.”

Mental health first aid training identifies the signs and symptoms of mental health and provides simples tools that can be used to assist someone experiencing a mental health problem, including how the trained responder can look after themselves through the support process.

Participants will receive a certificate valid for three years, a mental health first aid manual and valuable knowledge to support our community. Morning tea and lunch is provided.

A full list of courses and available dates can be found on Council’s website at If you are interested in attending a mental health first aid training course, please contact Council’s Community Development team on 1300 697 372 or email

Last edited date 13 Jun 2024