Population Health
Health Promotion

Healthy Populations

Mental Health Promotion

Improving mental health can have substantial benefits for consumers, their carers and also for the community. Mental health is a combination of mental, emotional, social and cultural wellbeing that encompasses much more than just 'not having symptoms of mental illness'.

The onset of mental health problems can have profound effects on social, emotional and physical wellbeing. There is evidence that promotion and prevention activities can minimise the impact of mental illness and also assist people who already have a mental illness.

Promotion and prevention for mental health has a broad scope. Our priorities include schools and locationally disadvantaged communities as settings for mental health promotion; improving mental health literacy; as well as improving the physical health of mental health consumers and their carers.

Much of our work involves working with the community and in partnerships with non-government organisations, mental health services, mental health consumer and carer representatives.

Our current projects include:

  • Mental Health Literacy to aid access to services and supports and to reduce stigma
  • Physical health (nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation)
  • Reducing social isolation
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Capacity building  with services
  • Resource development to improve access to information and resources for the community and services. Example: www.mentalhealthsws.net.au
  • Addressing the wider social determinants of health e.g. preventing homelessness.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)
The MHFA Program is an Australian Mental Health Literacy program that teaches adults in the community how to provide initial support to people experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental illness. The education course is facilitated by accredited instructors and is not a therapy or support group. The content of the course includes specific information about common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, less common disorders such as bi-polar mood disorder and psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, suicide prevention and substance misuse disorders.

The Mental Health Promotion Officers facilitate programs for the general community and young people and have also established a network of health service, non-government and private accredited instructors who are available to provide training when requested or required.

For more information about the course please visit www.mhfa.com.au

Click here to request a course from the MHFA Instructor Network

For more information on the courses or any other aspect of Mental Health Promotion, please contact the Mental Health Promotion Officers:

Bankstown:  Henry.Lim@sswahs.nsw.gov.au
Liverpool/Fairfield: Emily.Mason@sswahs.nsw.gov.au
Campbelltown/Bowral: Mary.Brasile@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Useful Links related to Mental Health Promotion:
Mental Health & Support Services South Western Sydney - Online mental health directory

Australian Drug Foundation - Information on Alcohol and other drugs

Beyond Blue - Information, research and resources on anxiety and mood disorders

Black Dog Institute - Information, research and resources on mood disorders

Carer Assist - Information for people who care for someone with a mental illness

Headspace - Australian Youth Mental Health Early Intervention

KidsMatter - Australian Primary Schools Mental Health Promotion Initiative

Lifeline Macarthur - Crisis care, counselling, charity shops, training and resources

Living is for Everyone (LIFE) - Information on suicide and self-harm

Mental Health Association of NSW - Mental health promotion, information service and resources

Mental Health Commission of NSW

Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA) - Australian evidence based courses for mental health literacy 

MindMatters - Australian Secondary Schools Mental Health Promotion Initiative

Multicultural Mental Health Australia (MMHA) - Information on a range of mental health issues for people who speak a language other than English

NSW Consumer Advisory Group (NSW CAG) - Information for consumers (people living with a mental illness)

Reach Out Australia - Information on a range of mental health issues for young people

SANE Australia - Information on a range of mental health issues

Schizophrenia Fellowship - Information on Schizophrenia and a range of other mental health issues




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Page last updated: 17 March, 2015