WHERE There’s A Will has embraced the power of social media to deliver its first-ever live beginner’s guide to mental health first aid.
The Upper-Hunter based organisation streamed the presentation from leading expert Geoffrey Ahern on its Facebook page on Wednesday night.
Mr Ahern, an instructor who works alongside the Victorian Police Force, quickly pointed out to listeners the three biggest mental health problems.
“In Australia, the statistics tell us that currently about one in five of us are living with a mental health problem,” he said.
“Our three biggest [problems] are anxiety, followed by depression, followed by substance use disorders.
“And that’s across a lifespan; it doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 50 [years old], this is actually what we’re seeing in Australia at the moment.”
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 3000 people had tuned in to hear Mr Ahern’s advice.
Where There’s A Will secretary Andrea Burns said the response had exceeded the foundation’s expectations.
“Geoff is a very captivating and engaging man so I can see why people want to do his mental health first aid courses,” she said.
“It’s about asking - are you ok?
“And we also wanted to address what happens next...if someone has chosen to trust you, what is the next step to take?
“The questions [from online contributors] during the live guide were appropriate, and it was a really good information session.
“I’m sure that we’ll look at doing another one; it was a great precursor to our men in sport too.”
In another key moment for the foundation, every coach – from juniors to first grade – in Group 21 rugby league will be asked to undertake a mental health first aid course this season.
The mentors will gain training on recognising the signs and symptoms, and how to talk to and treat players.
- To listen to the beginner’s guide, visit Where There’s A Will’s Facebook page.