Class aids mental health support

MENTAL HEALTH WORKSHOP: Heidi Coleman and Joan Oldfield at Karcultaby Area School. Picture: Supplied

MENTAL HEALTH WORKSHOP: Heidi Coleman and Joan Oldfield at Karcultaby Area School. Picture: Supplied

Talking about mental health issues with your children and learning communication techniques for parents to help their children were some of the topics discussed at a mental health workshop recently hosted at Karcultaby Area School.

Three sessions were held throughout the day for parents, students and staff, where mental health first aid presenter Joan Oldfield spoke about to parents about recognising changes in behaviour and other indicators of mental health issues in children and adolescents, plus the best ways for a parent to support to their child.

“The student session was to help the students recognise the symptoms of mental health issues in their own lives and know what help they can receive,” Karcultaby Area School’s pastoral care worker Heidi Coleman said.

“Also, to recognise when their peers are not coping and how they can support them in recovery.”

The staff session provided information on different strategies to use day-to-day to lessen the anxiety of students, with a focus on building mental health awareness and the support staff can give to see recovery in students.

The workshop was organised by Ms Coleman, who said the purpose was to increase mental health awareness and encourage people to support others.

“After attending the Adolescent Mental Health First Aid course in Streaky Bay in 2016, I realised that with support and early recognition children, adolescents and adults can have a quick recovery,” she said.

“The only way to see this happen in a community is to make people aware that they are all part of the healing process and to be aware of the signs that someone is not coping.

“We all play a very important role as a support to those around us”.

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