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Wesley Mission Queensland reaches 100 Mental Health First Aid Officers in the workplace

Published Thursday 21 November 2019
  • Disability and Mental Health

Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ) are one of Queensland’s leading providers in Mental Health services. We walk alongside our customers and provide them with a tailored approach to support their needs.  

Not only do we support people outside the organisation, we are committed to the role of mental health in workplace wellbeing. We have embraced and created a network of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Officers in the workplace to support our staff as well.  

1 in 5 Australians from ages 16 to 85 experience a mental health issue in any year, so by offering Mental Health First Aid Officer training, we can provide people with the right skills to help someone who is developing or experiencing a mental health issue in the workplace too. 

WMQ Director of People and Culture, Steve Eltis, says the network of MHFA Officers at WMQ is continuously growing.  

“Over 100 of our employees from all different service areas including aged care, childcare, community, disability and mental health are now qualified MHFA Officers.  

“Our commitment is to create healthy connected workplaces, where everyone feels safe and supported. Our MHFA network aims to raise awareness, reduce isolation and/or connect the person affected to the appropriate professional assistance,” says Steve.  

MHFA training is provided free to staff with the aim of building a strong and effective network of first responders to promptly support colleagues who are experiencing poor mental health and the MHFA courses are based on best practice and global evidence of what is the most effective Mental Health First Aid intervention strategies. 

WMQ Wellness Coordinator, Linh Pierson, also keeps the MHFA network connected with regular support and training from WMQ qualified Mental Health Clinicians.     

“I make sure that the MHFA Officer network is provided with useful and up to date information on relevant topics including self-care strategies so that they remain mentally well themselves too. 

Last month DV Connect held an online and face to face session on domestic and family violence. The presentation aimed to equip MHFA Officers with the skills and knowledge to recognise and support colleagues and friends who may be experiencing domestic and family violence,” Linh says.  

“Becoming a MHFA Officer equips us with the skills and confidence to effectively support a colleague by knowing what to say and where to direct them to find the most appropriate help.” 

But the story doesn’t end there. We have committed to growing the capability and capacity of the staff in many other areas and will be training up more Mental Health First Aid Officers in 2020. We are proud of our workforce and want to continue to support them in the area of mental health where we can.