Mental Health First Aid for Intercultural Baptist Community

Darryl Bishop


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According to a national study of mental health and wellbeing, 42.9 per cent of people aged 16–85 years had experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life.

21.5 per cent of people had a mental disorder lasting longer than 12 months, with anxiety being the most common cause (17.2 per cent of people aged 16–85 years; 38.8 per cent of people aged 16–24 years).

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that in 2011, mental illness ranked as the third biggest source of disease burden in Australia after cancer and cardiovascular (heart) disease. Although mental illness is not a major cause of premature death, it is the leading cause of disability in Australia.

Mental Health First Aid was first offered right here in Australia in 2000 and has now been licensed to over 25 countries around the world, with over four million people trained, and over 900,000 in Australia.

The program adopted the idea of physical first aid courses that teach the skills and knowledge required to recognise and respond to life-threatening emergencies and provide a first aid response across a range of different situations.

In the same way, the Mental Health First Aid training program provides a practical, skills-based action plan. Participants learn the skills to recognise and respond to someone experiencing a mental health problem or mental health crisis, until professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

It equips you with the skills to listen, connect, and offer support to those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, psychosis, substance use problems, gambling problems, eating disorders, and mental health crises such as suicidal thoughts and behaviours, panic attacks, psychotic states, aggressive behaviours, etc.

The program equips the Mental Health First Aider to play a vital role in reducing stigma and promoting pathways to support those experiencing mental health problems in our workplaces, communities, schools, and tertiary institutions.

Jing Ding is a bilingual presenter from Mental Health First Aid Australia. She is an active member of the Rostrevor Baptist Church Chinese community. Here she has opportunity to apply her counselling and MHFA skills to support those who have difficulty in maintaining good mental health.

To assist other church communities to benefit from this training, Jing is offering training at a basic cost of $235/person. Jing will bring the training course to your church. You are welcome to contact Jing for further details: [email protected]

“Jing gave clear information and explanation of every topic with intuitive interactions. The content of the course was very eye opening and have helped me to understand how to react & help individuals in mental health concerns.”

“Very useful and practical knowledge and training to assist people around with different levels of mental illnesses.”

“Jing presented the course in a very clear and structural way. The course will greatly help me to support the people in mental health area. I learned many tips such as how to approach them, how to communicate and support them in a professional and non-judgemental way.”

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