Mental Health First Aid Australia has partnered with the SA Mental Health Commission to run a series of showcase courses of the new Older Person Mental Health First Aid (OPMHFA) course.
Mental health problems in older people are under-diagnosed, under-treated and often misattributed to ageing or poor physical health. Confusion and dementia are common in older people,
but they are not a normal part of ageing. The new Older Person MHFA Course trains people who care for, work or live with older people to recognise and respond appropriately to older people
developing mental health problems, rather than waiting until a mental health crisis develops before they act.
The first of the showcase courses is currently taking place in Adelaide (19th-20th June) with two further courses planned
for Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier next month.
The Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade welcomed the introduction of the course into SA, saying.
“People may know about physical health problems, but may not understand mental health. Learning the signs and
symptoms of common mental health problems and identifying ways to support older people experiencing depression,
anxiety, confusion, dementia and psychosis is important knowledge for community groups”.
SA Mental Health Commissioner Chris Burns, who officially opened the course in Adelaide yesterday, said it was
important to train the community to respond appropriately and as early as possible to older people developing
mental health problems, rather than taking action only during a mental health crisis.
MHFA Australia CEO, Nataly Bovopoulos, said the innovative Older Person MHFA Course taught practical skills
and was relevant to anyone working with or caring for older Australians. “We are so proud to partner with the
SA Mental Health Commission to showcase it to key stakeholders in South Australia.”
For more information on this course, go to https://mhfa.com.au/courses/public/types/olderperson