'Every business should be doing this' – Mental illness first aid course trialled NZ workplaces

A first aid course of a very different kind is aiming to put mental health first responders in every New Zealand workplace.

The course is designed to give people the tools to help colleagues struggling with mental illness, and above all, to spot the signs of it.

Considering more people die every year from suicide than car crashes in New Zealand, it’s an initiative that both trainer and trainee say is overdue.

"I guarantee that most people would walk past someone that had a mental illness, I've avoided it for a long time," course trainee Bruce Gray said.

"It's never been something I've been involved with, but this has kind of opened my eyes a little bit."

The Ministry of Health and Red Cross are also running full day workshops to help boost mental health education and suicide prevention.

Meaning more people who can spot the signs of those struggling are out there.

Need to talk? 1737 – Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 or
The Lowdown: A website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. or free text 5626 – Online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed
OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 for support related to sexual orientation or gender identity

A new first aid course is aiming to put mental health responders in every New Zealand workplace. Source: 1 NEWS