We've teamed up with The Mental Health Coach to expand our free Mental Health First Aid program for young LGBTQIA+ people Earlier this year, we delivered a free, 2-day Mental Health First Aid program to 36 young, LGBTQIA+ people from right across Melbourne which proved to be so effective we've decided to expand this to deliver a second AND third program for young people in both metro and regional Victoria this year! In their statistical “Snapshot” (April 2021), LGBTQIA+ Health Australia highlighted that 63.8% of LGBTQIA+ people aged 14 – 21 reported a mental health diagnosis, compared to 45.5% of their hetero peers. Plus, the fact that 71% of young, queer folk did not use a crisis support service during their most recent mental health crisis is even more concerning. The expanded LGBTQIA+ Mental Health First Aid training program will equip dozens more peers with evidence-based skills and knowledge to spot the signs, have the important conversations and support their peers to access critical mental health services. And, of course participants will have the opportunity to finish up with a MHFA Australia accredited training. Pictured here: participants from the first LGBTQIA+ program earlier this year One of the participants shared, "(the program) teaches you tools that everyone should have to be able to help someone struggling and help them get the right help. I think it’s important because there are so many individuals struggling and the more people that are educated the better it is for everyone. I am now better equipped to recognise when someone may be experiencing poor mental health and the next steps to get them connected and supported with others and/or professionals." Participants from the first program shared that their confidence in being able to effectively help someone with mental health problems increased from somewhat confident to extremely confident after completing the LGBTQIA+ Mental Health First Aid training. That's why we've decided to expand and deliver further cost-free LBGTQIA+ specific mental health first aid programs with another course in-take slated for August, and a third program being launched in Bairnsdale in late 2022. Delivered by The Mental Health Coach (wholly queer owned, developed and delivered might we add…), the training will include a specialised LGBTQIA+ focus, highlighting the unique mental health support needs and experiences of young, LGBTIQ+ people. Each participant will be able to access free, ongoing mentoring for up to 6-months to boost their confidence, support implementation and provide hands-on guidance. The cost-free course will be facilitated via a 2-day program on the 4th and 11th of August 2022 at Oxygen Youth Centre in Coburg, with the third program being delivered in Bairnsdale later in 2022. Participants must be aged 18 - 25, reside in Victoria and identify as an LGBTQIA+ young person (or questioning if you might be), or work directly with LGBTQIA+ young people. Expressions of interest are now open - please complete this questionnaire! EXPRESS MY INTEREST For more information on the program, please contact Nick McEwan Hall at [email protected]. This project has been funded by Youth Affairs Council Victoria’s Healthy Equal Youth (HEY) grants program. HEY is proudly funded and supported by the Victorian Government.