Mental Health First Aid® Australia has recognised the City of Maroondah as a “Champion Community” for its commitment to improving the mental health and well-being of its population.
This recognition is awarded to communities across Australia for developing mental health first aid skills and education within their local setting in a planned, integrated and sustainable way.
Fiona Burridge, Be Kind Maroondah Facilitator, says the recognition reflects the City of Maroondah’s dedication to working together to build an empowered, supported, mentally healthy community.
“The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA™) training has allowed us to destigmatise mental health by opening up opportunities for honest and meaningful conversations on mental illness.”
Caillin Moore, Community Engagement Coordinator at Mental Health First Aid, explains: “With 1 in 5 Australians likely to experience a mental health problem in any given year, communities like Maroondah have a role to play in ensuring people have the right tools to provide early intervention”.
The Maroondah City Council introduced MHFA training in 2016 after it recognised a need to provide practical support to its carers and volunteers, respectively comprising 10% and 17% of the city’s population.
The Council’s program became the springboard to a community-wide initiative to improve the community’s mental health literacy and support. Several local organisations – including community houses, disability groups, cultural groups, local churches, schools, sporting clubs and more – joined forces to deliver the training, broadening its impact and ensuring reach across diverse populations.
Caillin Moore congratulated the City of Maroondah on being crowned a Champion Community.
“The City of Maroondah has demonstrated what can be achieved when local councils and organisations come together with a shared vision to improve the mental health of their community.
“With more than 1,200 people now equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to recognise, talk about and safely respond to mental health problems, the City of Maroondah is helping to reduce stigma and create a more connected community.”
Fiona Burridge adds: “The more community members that are trained in Mental Health First Aid, the greater the reach of mental health support at a grassroots level.”
For more information on Mental Health First Aid, visit mhfa.com.au.
Nicole Richardson | email@example.com | 0487 656 352