MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID
by Scott Walmsley
This October I was fortunate to be invited to undergo training in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) as part of an initiative organised by actor and filmmaker Ben Steel. MHFA is the help provided to a person who is; developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of a mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis.
It has been a tough few years with COVID and this is in addition to the pressures of day to day life as an art's practitioner. Post Production can also face additional challenges as it is easy to feel isolated in a small team or an insignificant cog in a bigger machine. Being able to recognise the signs of depression in our friends and colleagues is important so that people do not slip through the cracks.
This course was really eye opening and gave me improved knowledge of mental illnesses, treatments and appropriate first aid strategies. I would thoroughly recommend this accredited course that involves an online component (about 7 hours) and then two Zoom sessions (2.5 hours each). For more information you can find out more at Ben's website
For those who may be struggling, know that you are not alone and there is help available. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help or there is also a free 24 hour helpline dedicated to people working in the arts called Support Act www.supportact.org.au/get-help/. This helpline can also give guidance if someone you know needs help but you are unsure what to do.
Executive Committee Member