Silver lining shines on Mental Health

A silver lining has appeared over TAFE NSW Moss Vale to shine the light on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.

Christmas is traditionally a time when families come together and celebrate, but for some, the festive season can be an extremely lonely time of year.

TAFE NSW Moss Vale has seen a surge in interest for courses in Suicide Prevention Skills and Mental Health, attracting more than 70 students.

With 33 years of nursing experience, student Bev Klingberg, has been an advocate for mental health in the community since she moved to the Southern Highlands.

“When I moved here, I got some work in a local pub and listened to people, mostly lonely men. I talked with them and tried to encourage them to realise a different perspective on life,” says Bev.

“There is growing awareness in the community about mental health in general; it’s like a coming out.

“It’s good to acknowledge that people are different and face different challenges. They all deserve our consideration and respect.”

Bev is delighted with her training in the Statement of Attainment in Suicide Prevention Skills and got so much more out of the course material than she’d imagined.

“I’m usually a person that multi tasks but now I’m taking time for myself. I love my foot spas!

“We are a time poor society and I have learned the importance to factor in time for myself every day and not feel guilty,” she says.

“Mental health is a complex topic. It’s often about giving people the time and space and allowing them to feel the range of emotions they feel and letting them know that it’s okay. Then looking at realistic options to help them,” she says.

Heather McCarron, Head Teacher is inspired by the community response and interest in both of these courses.

“The number one benefit of the course is to inform people about suicidal ideations and the best strategies to ask the hard questions around this sensitive area,” says Heather.

“Most people come out of the workshop and know how important an intervention is. They are also able to recognise the indicators and signs of people at risk.”

“We can also deliver these two short courses directly to industry who have a minimum of eight people,” says Heather.

The Fully Government Subsidised Statement of Attainment in Suicide Prevention Skills provides training in recognising and responding to people at risk of suicide.

It’s recommended for people who already have qualifications and/or experience in the community services or education fields. The next course will be run in the first half of 2017.

The Fully Government Subsidised Statement of Attainment in Mental Health gives a broad overview of mental health and types of illnesses, how to communicate with mental health illness, historical information and policies around mental health.

The Mental Health short course, also known as a skill set, is part of the Certificate IV in Community Services and Certificate III in Individual Support (Disabilities), both of which will be offered in Semester 1, 2017.