Big win for Monash with roll-out of specialist youth mental health first aid training

Specialist youth and teen mental health first aid training is being rolled out across Monash thanks to a $200,000 Pick My Project grant from the Victorian State Government.

The joint initiative of Monash’s Youth Services and the Rotary Club of Glen Waverley is to support youth wellbeing across the municipality. The training will give adults who have contact with young people including teachers, coaches and parents ­the skills to identify the signs of poor mental health, open up communication around these concerns and support the young person to access appropriate professional help.

Member for Mount Waverley, Matt Fregon MP launched the program on Monday (7 October) at Brentwood Secondary College in Glen Waverley on behalf of the Minister for Suburban Development, Hon Marlene Kairouz.

“The Pick My Project initiative has allowed Victorians to tell government which projects are more important. The fact that youth mental health support is high on that list shows us that we are on the right track in this space. Addressing mental health issues in the community is a priority for the Victorian Government, and the Pick My Project initiative is supporting our youngest community members to thrive,” Mr Fregon said.

Mayor Shane McCluskey welcomed the training as an integral way Monash supports the health and wellbeing of its young people.

“There’s a pressing need for more mental health support for youth in Monash and this specialised training is empowering the community to better support young people who are struggling with their mental health,” Cr McCluskey said.

“Our young people are telling us that mental health issues are their biggest concern and we want our young people to feel safe, connected and confident.

“This specialised training will build our community’s capacity to support Monash youth.”

Mental health first aid training specifically for teenagers will also be provided so they can better support their peers when needed.

In 2018 Monash Youth Services and the Rotary Club of Glen Waverely made an application to the Pick My Project scheme, with the proposal receiving the second highest number of community votes in the Eastern Metro region.

So far with this funding in 2019 the project has:

  • facilitated six youth mental health first aid training courses for staff at local secondary schools (Brentwood Secondary College, Wheelers Hill Secondary College, Oakleigh Grammar, Mount Waverley Secondary College, Ashwood School and Berengarra School), reaching 93 staff members
  • facilitated a youth mental health first aid training course to a group of 10 community members with a further two courses booked in for Term 4
  • facilitated 32 teen mental health first aid courses to Year 10 students across four schools (Brentwood Secondary College, Wheelers Hill Secondary College, Oakleigh Grammar and Mount Waverley Secondary College) reaching 708 young people.

As noted by Minister for Suburban Development, Marlene Kairouz:

“This is such an outstanding project, working with our youth to identify support needed to overcome barriers to mental health issues with our students.”

“In mental health week, there could not be a better time to launch this initiative that will play a small part in helping those who really need it – all made possible thanks to the Andrews Labor Government Pick My Project initiative.”

Expressions of interest are also being accepted from community members and groups who would like to be trained.

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