by Kathy Dumbleton
The most common sources of support for people going through mental health issues are a partner, spouse or friend. But if it was your friend or loved one who needed support, would you know what to do?
Tim Saal is making sure more people in Central Queensland can.
Tim has been travelling throughout rural Queensland for the past three weeks delivering mental health workshops as part of a Rural Minds initiative.
The program is targeting everyday people in the local community, Tim said.
"The general public, like the bakers, butchers and teachers."
With funding from the Movember charity, the workshops have been rolled out right across Australia since May last year. While the cost is normally $93.30 per person, with the charity backing Tim is able to offer these workshops free of charge.
The primary focus of these workshops is to recognise the warning signs of mental illness.
"It’s about noticing a specific change in yourself or others, we don’t want to wait until someone becomes very unwell," Tim said.
Tim says the he half day workshop is specifically designed for regional people to relate to the subject matter. It starts with a wellbeing and lifestyle survey, which includes attitudes towards suicide, and covers 16 topics including risk factors, depression, suicide, and where to get help.
As well as new skills and knowledge, you'll come away with a workbook and a mental health passport with local referral pathways.
The key purpose is to empower everyday people with the knowledge, understanding and confidence to work through factors in life including, drug and alcohol abuse, relationship issues and succession planning.
You can even get tooled up to run the training for others, with Tim conducting a Train the Presenter’ program on Tuesday, June 12 at the North Rockhampton Bowls Club.
There is also a supplementary training offered the next morning on how to support people who are bereaved by suicide.
These sessions usually cost $800 per person, but it's free through Queensland Health funding to give people in local communities the skills to run mental health workshops.
"Through this training you can provide a service in your local community," Tim said.
With more emphasis on the importance of mental health these programs are not only teaching how to identify the warning signs but giving everyday people the tools and skills to make a positive difference in their own community.
Key findings in these workshops have concluded that the most common sources of support for mental health issues are a partner, spouse or friend. What better way to deliver mental health awareness then through someone you know and trust, where a local member can become the presenter and advocate of this material in their own town.
For more information about these workshops please contact Tim Saal on timsaal (at) rrmh.com.au or 0400 104 332.
If this discussion has stirred up any bad feelings for you, please reach out to a trusted friend or family member, or one of the organisations below: