Instructor Profile | Mental Health First Aid
Paul Dickson


0488 039 470


Standard MHFA

Location Information

Naracoorte SA 5271


I am currently working for the SA Country Fire Service (CFS) as the Regional Prevention Officer for the Limestone Coast, based in Naracoorte in the South East of South Australia. In this role I am responsible for the provision of consultancy advice, information and support as it relates to the bush fire management planning process at state and local government level and for other organisations.
I assist in the development and monitoring of community safety policies, standards and guidelines and represent the CFS on state and cross-agency committees and working groups. I also facilitate the delivery of fire prevention officer training programs at state and regional levels. Previously I was employed by the MacDonnell Regional Council in Alice Springs as Manager Community Safety where I was responsible for the delivery of Community Safety services across the MacDonnell Regional Council, including in 12 remote Aboriginal Communities. I supported, mentored, and trained 3 Coordinators, 12 Team Leaders and 48 Officers (92% Aboriginal employees) to build capacity throughout the Community Safety team with a view to up-skilling them and building confidence so that staff were able to undertake their community safety roles effectively and safely and were well placed to take on more senior positions within the organisation when opportunities arose.

To ensure best practice safety services were provided I facilitated collaborative, appropriate and productive relationships with the many stakeholder and service providers that either lived in the Communities or travelled to them from Alice Springs or Darwin.

I am passionate about changing attitudes to reflect a more resilient and self reliant culture within individuals and communities, particularly as it relates to coping with emergency/disastrous events, with this in mind I am excited to be part of the roll out of Mental Health First Aid training within the emergency services sector in South Australia. I am looking forward to extending the concept of first aid training to include mental health problems so that sector members are empowered, as Mental Health First Aiders, to provide better initial support to someone who is developing a mental health problem, has a worsening mental health problem or is in a mental health crisis.