RELATIONSHIPS Australia WA has developed a free online mental health training tool to help the community understand mental health and recognise someone who may be at risk of mind decline or suicide.
The Connect for Mental Health community learning tool highlights the importance of early intervention and has been designed to help anyone in the community to recognise the signs of mental issues.
It helps users understand how to reach out and talk to a person they may be worried about, how to respond to what they say, and how to obtain further support if needed.
Issues of mental health affect people of all communities and ages in Australia.
One in five adult Australians experience mental health problems and half of all Australians experience a mental health disorder at some stage.
Alkimos resident and high school teacher Chelsea Sidaway said in a society where people are consistently at risk of suffering mental health issues it is imperative that we look for new ways to facilitate the support of people suffering these misunderstood issues.
“As a high school teacher, the volume of students who experience mental health issues overwhelms me; it can be devastating to not only see intelligent and capable young people begin to lose their sense of self, but to also feel inadequate and unable to assist in a helpful and meaningful way,” she said.
“I have found that if someone does recognise a person in crisis with regards to their mental health, they do not know enough about these conditions to be able to appropriately support or assist the person.
“I am hyper-aware that I am not a psychologist, and am continually cautious of providing neutral, yet informative advice to students who suffer from mental health conditions, as this is not my area of expertise or qualification.”
Ms Sidaway said she was pleased the online tool provided comprehensive training regarding how best to talk, act and encourage those suffering from mental health issues, in a way that was useful.