Locals invited to Youth Mental Health First Aid course

Locals are being urged to make a difference to support young people in the community by completing a Youth Mental Health First Aid course.

Australian Government health data indicates that about one in six adolescents meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis in any given year.

The two day course aims to teach participants how to recognise a specific illness, provide initial help, seek professional support and respond in a crisis situation, with participants able to become an accredited mental health first aider upon completion.

Mental Health First Aid Instructor Libby said the course was for suitable for everyone.

"Whether you teach, employ, work, or live with adolescents, the YMHFA course will teach you the skills and confidence to provide mental health first aid to a young person," she said.

"This course is about helping the wider community and being aware that a young person could be going through a difficult time.

"Participants will learn about adolescent development and the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, how and where to get help, and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective."

The course topics cover developing mental health problems, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, panic attacks, and substance use disorders, as well as suicide and NSSI (non-suicidal-self-injury).

"If they have had those experiences as a young person or adolescent up to 26 years old, then they are more likely to experience mental illness in adulthood; so early intervention is critical.

"It's about providing first aid and supporting our young people; stamping out stigma, educating people and getting together as a community to support them.

"Because, as corny as it sounds, they are the future and we need to look after them."

The course is on January 28 and 29 at the Margaret River Community Centre.

To register, email Libby at rkustka@gmail.com or call 0433 782 576.