I live here at a residential college at the
University of Melbourne, and during my first year here one of my friends unfortunately
made an attempt, or multiple attempts on taking his own life and that was really quite confronting and sad. We’re all students who are living away from
our normal support networks, here at college and we don’t have the normal people that we
would rely on. After that struggle, I guess was really where
I got involved with Mental Health First Aid Australia and the training course and all
of those lessons that I learnt there. We’ve been able to establish a student pastoral
care team which is a new initiative that I helped establish last year within the college.
By having this process and having this system in place students are much more willing to
come to us and talk to us either about themselves who they’re worried about going through a
difficult time or their friends who they’re noticing going through a difficult time and
we give them the help that they need by linking them with the support services that they need.
So I found the Mental Health First Aid training course really worthwhile and really useful
because it taught a lot of vital and practical skills on one, how to deal with mental health
problems and how to deal with crises that may arise but also too, how to support someone
whilst looking after your own mental health. Taking that stigma away from mental health
really puts power back to the individual to be able to help themselves and help their
friends in a proactive way. So I’d encourage anyone who really wants to give back to any
person around them, whether it be a colleague at work or a family member or a friend to
undertake the Mental Health First Aid training course because it’ll provide those skills
to be able to make a real meaningful impact in people’s lives. I’m Tim, I’m a university student and I am a Mental Health First Aider. Be one too.