The law of averages indicates that, at least thirty six of our one hundred and eighty employees have experienced, or are managing a mental illness well enough to hold their positions in our workforce.
Of the ninety people supported by NWRSS, at least eighteen have experienced the effects of a mental illness in addition to their disability.
An accurate understanding of mental health and a dignified response at all levels of the organization is critical to the well-being of the people we support and employees alike. NWRSS has a long history of ensuring that a managed mental illness does not preclude anyone from working for the organization.
First Aid courses are just the first half of a balanced approach to safe and secure workplaces. A positive, supportive response to mental illness is the other half. NWRSS has, for some time, been searching for a training presentation on mental health to add to its suite of baseline training sessions to help us understand how we can best support each other when personal well-being is at risk.
The search criteria included (1) a comprehensive coverage of mental illness (2) a non-stigmatising and dignified approach and (3) a non-clinical, easy to understand delivery.
The two day workshop on Mental Health First Aid has been trialled successfully for our workforce and will now become one of our baseline training sessions that will be offered twice-yearly.
The manuals distributed at these workshops were quickly being shared amongst staff with many comments on how valuable the workshop had been for work and personal family reasons.
Mental Health First Aid manuals including one for helping people who have an intellectual disability can be downloaded free from: www.mhfa.com.au
This article was posted on 19/3/12.