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Mental Health Training

Mental Health Training

Live4Life program | Southern Grampians Youth Program

The Southern Grampians youth Live4Life program has recently taken a giant leap forward, with 14 educators and youth workers from across local organisations taking part in Youth Mental Health First Aid training.

The program, which launched just prior to the arrival of the pandemic, has seen some Covid-19 related delays, but the timing of the training with the return to school-based learning has been critically important.

“Students have spent more time at home than they have in the school environment this year, so a lot of the worries facing young people have been happening in private”, said Southern Grampians Youth Live4Life Project Officer Kerri Pleydell-Sander. “With students back in the classroom, we have more of an opportunity to check in with them to get a better understanding of what supports they might need.”

The Live4Life initiative involves schools, local government, community and health organisations coming together to ensure young people, teachers, parents and community members receive the appropriate mental health education. The training provides information and advice about how to support young people who may be developing a mental health problem, be living with a mental health condition, or in a crisis situation.

A pre-pandemic survey of Australian child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing showed that almost 1 in 7 children and adolescents aged 4-17 were assessed as experiencing a mental health disorder in the previous 12 months. This year, Kids Helpline recorded a 24 per cent increase in calls between March and August, compared with the same period in 2019.

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Ms Pleydell-Sander said the training session had personally given her greater confidence to be able to recognise if a young person might be experiencing mental health issues, and to know how to approach a conversation with them about it.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Community Development Officer, Melanie Russell also attended the training and said that it could not have come at a more perfect time for the community.

“Covid has brought many challenges to our young people locally - with changes in routine, social isolation and altered study arrangements. As a community, we need to be aware and capable of supporting those young people at risk.

The course was an excellent opportunity to learn more about mental illness in many forms, it prepared us to identify symptoms, and support our young people from the very earliest signs. I would highly recommend Youth Mental Health First Aid training for any parent, educator, or community worker wanting to help our young people and achieve healthier outcomes for their future,” Ms Russell said.

For more information about the Live4Life program, please contact Kerri Pleydell-Sander on

***Western District Health Service***

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