To acknowledge World Mental Health Day on the 10th October, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia is celebrating Mental Health First Aiders with a new video campaign called ‘I Am One’.
Each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental health problem, however 65% of those will not go on to seek professional help. Encouraging early help seeking can reduce the impact of mental illness.
More than 500,000 Australians and 2 million worldwide, have now trained in mental health first aid, learning the skills to support someone experiencing a mental health problem or in mental health crisis to seek professional help early.
“Mental Health First Aiders are our friends, colleagues and community members”, said Ms Nataly Bovopoulos, CEO of MHFA Australia.
“They have inspiring stories about the impact that MHFA training has had on the lives of those around them across Australia, from a rural Australian community affected by natural disaster, to urban lawyers experiencing job stress.”
Over the next six weeks, MHFA Australia is highlighting five inspirational MHFAider stories, and encouraging other MHFAiders to share their own story about using their mental health first aid skills using the hashtag #iamonemhfa.
“Tim was a first-year college student, who realised that he didn’t know how to support friends in mental health crisis”, said Ms Bovopoulos, “he worked with his college to set up MHFA training, so that college students could learn skills to support each other”. Mental health literacy has now improved in the college and students are comfortable talking to a MHFAider when they need it.
“There are over 500,000 people like Tim in Australia. We are calling for more people to sign up to become MHFAiders, so that there can be MHFAiders in every community, every school, university and workplace. ”