If you were faced with someone who was in the midst of a mental health crisis or experiencing an emerging mental illness, would you know what to do?

Compliance with WH&S laws is essential for all employers, and this includes taking reasonable steps to protect employees from mental illness. Just like First Aid Officers, all employers should have a suitably qualified Mental Health First Aid Officer on board.

Our two-day mental health first aid course is designed to train nominated workplace representatives to assist people at work who may be developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.

Essential training for employers, managers and HR professionals

This comprehensive training program is delivered by Belinda Winter, Partner in the Workplace Relations and Safety team. Belinda has extensive experience in both the legal profession and mental health first aid. Her deep understanding of mental health issues, combined with her legal expertise, make this training essential for HR professionals, employers and managers.

Over two days, participants will learn:

  • how to recognise signs and symptoms of mental health problems and crises in employees and co-workers
  • the risk factors and appropriate evidence-based treatments and supports
  • how to respond and offer appropriate support to employees, co-workers, family and friends using the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan.

The course content is tailored to the workplace setting using appropriate case-studies, videos and resources. However, course participants will learn mental health first aid skills that can be applied to help any adult, not just those within the context of a work environment.

Mental Health crisis situations covered include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety problems
  • Psychosis
  • Substance use problems.

Developing mental health problems covered include:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviours
  • Non-suicidal self-injury (sometimes called deliberate self-harm)
  • Panic attacks
  • Traumatic events
  • Severe effects of drug or alcohol use
  • Severe psychotic states
  • Aggressive behaviours.

All course participants will receive a copy of The Standard Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) manual and are eligible to become an accredited Mental Health First Aider within 30 days of completion of the course.  There are no prerequisites for this course and CPD points may be applicable, depending on your industry.

Upcoming events

Additional HALF-day program: Managing Ill and Injured Employees

Following the completion of the 12-hour course, participants have the option to register for an additional half-day workshop focusing on the management of ill and injured employees.

This additional program will assist employers, managers and HR professionals in understanding their rights and obligations when managing ill and injured employees, including those with a developing, existing or ongoing mental health condition, so that they can confidently make employment decisions in this complex area.

Participants will learn:

  • the impact of mental health issues on the workplace
  • the options available for managing ill and injured employees during employment
  • how to manage psychological issues at work in a legal context
  • how to obtain and use information about an employee’s medical condition
  • the difference between discrimination and the inherent requirements of the role
  • how to manage return to work for employees
  • when to make a decision about terminating employment
  • legal risks in dealing with ill and injured employees and how to minimise them.

About Belinda Winter

Belinda is a partner in our workplace relations and safety team, specialising in employment, industrial relations, discrimination and safety law.  She provides strategic advice to employers about various matters including restructures, enforcing restraints of trade, managing long term ill and injured employees, employee misconduct, poor performance and effecting termination of employment.

Belinda is a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor with Mental Health First Aid Australia and runs regular training courses on Standard Mental Health First Aid. She is also on the Queensland Law Society Wellness Committee and regularly delivers industry training to legal professionals on mental health in the workplace. Belinda is also a regular speaker at industry events on the topics of mental illness in the workplace and the management of ill and injured employees.

Belinda runs regular training courses on Standard Mental Health First Aid at our Brisbane office which is open to all participants. If you are interested in an internal training session for your nominated representatives, workplace or organisation please contact WRS@cgw.com.au for a quote.

What course participants have told us

“Mental health is an area we often overlook in our interactions with people. The course gave us a great deal of information and strategies to reflect on and use with people who may be struggling – without always assuming it’s a performance issue.”

“I thought Belinda Winter was very good. She was open to questions and opinions from others and I would strongly recommend others to do this course with Belinda. It is a much needed course I think for everyone to do as I have more knowledge about mental illness now.”

“Belinda is great instructor! She is extremely knowledgeable and completely approachable. She listened to everyone and made everyone feel comfortable.”