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Mental Health First Aid Course in Tamworth

Tuesday 8th of August 2006

Due to strong community demand for the popular workshop, the Anglican Counselling Service will run another Mental Health First Aid Course in Tamworth.


A waiting list of 35 people has been the catalyst for the Service to conduct another course. The Service has already facilitated 4 courses in the region in the first 6 months of this year with 151 participants at “no cost” courtesy of Australian Government funding.


The Course will be held at the Tamworth Towers Motor Inn on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October from 9am – 5pm with a maximum of 50 participants.


One participant’s response to the course was: “It was amazing. I learnt so much. It really gave me a great understanding”.

A participant from Narrabri said, “Absolutely fantastic. Everyone should do it and it should have broader community support.”


A participant from Quirindi said of the presenter, Fay Jackson, “She was very informative. She had a good sense of humour and shared from her own personal experiences.”


The Executive Director of the Service, the Rev. Brian Kirk said, “The Mental Health First Aid course is meeting a real need in the community. We live in a part of Australia where the male suicide rate is two (2) times higher than the cities and where the drought continues to have a significant impact on the mental, emotional and social health of our rural communities. ”


Says Rev. Kirk, “We are endeavouring to increase community awareness about mental health so that the suicide rate in rural areas and the associated stigma, can be reduced or even eliminated. By educating the community how to recognize the symptoms of mental health problems, how to provide initial help and how to go about guiding a person towards appropriate professional help, we hope to enhance the capacity of communities to get help earlier for those who may be experiencing problems in order to aid recovery.”


“According to the latest report card 2006 on Australia’s health by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare”, says Rev. Kirk, “mental ill health is the leading cause of the non-fatal burden of disease and injury in Australia.”


“Official figures show that 1 in 5 Australians in any 12 month period will have a mental illness”, says Rev. Kirk. “When it is estimated that at least one third of all people who have mental illness do not seek help, then the figure of 1:5 increases dramatically.”


Mrs Fay Jackson, well-known advocate for Mental Health education will be conducting the workshops on behalf of the Anglican Counselling Service.


Mrs Jackson says, “Every member of our society is responsible for the mental health of our community. If people are proactive and put into place education, training, workplace and social adjustments to ensure that they recuperate quickly, the outcomes will be positive, enlightening and sustaining.”


The Anglican Counselling Service’s promotion of community education and reduction of stigma is consistent with the recommendations of the Federal Senate Elect Committee’s Report on Mental Health which proposes 6% of the population be trained and accredited in Mental Health First Aid.


Another course is being planned for Moree in February, 2007.


Information and registration forms can be obtained from the Anglican Counselling Service by contacting staff at (02) 6765 2527 or calling in at the Counselling Centre on the corner of Ebsworth and Bridge Streets next to the lights.


For More Information Contact:

Anglican Counselling Service (Diocese of Armidale)
PO Box 3052 Tamworth 2340
Tel: (02) 6762 4380
FAX: (02) 6762 5740
Internet: acsdarm@northnet.com.au


Authorised: Rev Brian Kirk, Executive Director

8 August, 2006

Phone contact: (02) 6762 4380

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