October is Mental Health Month, an initiative to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and to promote the importance of early intervention practices for positive mental health and wellbeing.
This year’s theme is “Learn and Grow”. This is a simple message encouraging people to learn more about mental health, to empower themselves and others to take an active approach towards good mental health and wellbeing.
Data suggests that mental health issues are prevalent in Australia. According to SANE Australia, almost half (45%) of the Australian population will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. Sadly, only one third of those experiencing mental health issues will seek help in a 12 month period. Negative stigma towards mental health issues if often a key reason as to why people do not seek professional help.
AGB Training (AGB) is a leading provider of Community Services Courses in the Geelong region, offering training in Alcohol and Other Drugs/ Mental Health, Community Services and Counselling, which are led by industry qualified trainers.
AGB’s Alcohol and Other Drug/ Mental Health Trainer, Denis O’Brien is a qualified Psychiatric Nurse and has worked in the field for over 20 years. Denis believes that education plays a vital role in breaking down the negative misconceptions associated with mental health issues.
“It’s really rewarding to provide students with this knowledge and to help them feel confident about working in the field of Community Services. It also assists them to overcome the misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health and drug and alcohol issues, which is really important,” he explains.
Kirsty Sacco, AGB’s Counselling and Community Services Trainer has also worked in the mental health field for over 20 years and believes that education about mental health is just as important as education about physical health.
“We recognise that a person’s physical health education is important enough to have attention devoted to on a weekly basis. I think it’s time we took the same approach to their mental health. The benefits of education and talking about mental health issues will not only educate us but help reduce stigma and prejudice,” Kirsty explains.
If you are interested in working in the Community Services field or would simply like to further your own knowledge, please call us on 1300 123 242 or visit our Community Services page for more information.