South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
The Mental Health First Aid Youth Program aimed at integrating Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) into the everyday business of agencies by training community members to become mental health champions to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable youth.
Research shows that 75% of mental illnesses manifest before the age of 25 with suicide as the leading cause of death and higher rates in South Eastern Sydney. Eleven organisations and consumers co-designed a capacity-building program to train and support MHFA Instructors to train community ‘champions’ who support young people.
As a result, 350 'champions' (teachers, coaches, youth workers etc.) were trained in MHFA by instructors from partner organisations. Evaluation indicates a significant increase in 'champion' confidence and skills to support vulnerable youth, with many population groups most at risk reached.