Lower Eyre gets into mental first aid

DISCUSSION: Attending a session on mental first aid are (clockwise) Kane Goldsworthy, Ros Daniels, Erin Keough, Malcolm Schluter and Janet Packer.
DISCUSSION: Attending a session on mental first aid are (clockwise) Kane Goldsworthy, Ros Daniels, Erin Keough, Malcolm Schluter and Janet Packer.

Lower Eyre Peninsula educators have started gaining an understanding in ‘mental first aid’ thanks to the Eyre Futures Mentoring EP Community Mentoring Program.

In November last year the program received grand funding from the Port Lincoln Community Bank to provide mental first aid training to Port Lincoln High, Port Lincoln Junior Primary, Port Lincoln Primary, Lincoln Gardens and Lake Wangary schools.

The bank provided a $200 per participant grant to support the training.

Mentors from the schools gathered together on June 18 and 19  to participate in two days of learning presented by Jackie Hibble of Mentally Fit EP, supported by West Coast Youth and Community Support.

The training came about after former mentee from Cleve Area School Kane Goldsworthy brought up the need for it to Eyre Futures manager Jill Coates and Eyre Futures Mentoring EP coordinator Faye Davis.

Before he left the region Kane shared his experiences and his wish to pursue mental health training for mentors to support other youth in need and suggested a “free course” on how to identify mental health problems and how to direct students to help.

Mrs Davis said they called the project ‘Save your bacon’, in recognition of Kane’s suggestion and using his nickname.

“We are aware of youth in our communities experiencing mental health issues, and direct services for youth in regional and remote areas are limited,” she said.

If a crisis occurs in a young person’s life, having a local person who has an established trusted adult relationship with that young person and who is also equipped to provide immediate mental first aid would be invaluable.”

Mrs Davis said people trained in mental first aid who are mentors would be an invaluable human resource to support the wellbeing of youth in our schools and local communities.

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