From: Wednesday October 7, 2020, 1:00 pm
To: Wednesday October 7, 2020, 2:00 pm
Teen Mental Health First Aid is an age-appropriate training program for teaching secondary school students how to help their friends with mental health problems. Young people prefer to seek help for mental health problems from their peers, and teen MHFA was developed with this in mind, from scientific research on barriers to help-seeking in young people, suicide prevention and effective stigma reduction. The program is now available across Australia and internationally and owes much of its’ success to early research funding to Australian Rotary Health.
Dr. Laura Hart is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health within the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Hart has been working in population mental health for over a decade. Her research focuses on developing, evaluating and disseminating training programs for the public to improve prevention, awareness and help-seeking for mental illness. Her research has been recognized with multiple awards, including a 2019 Society for Mental Health Research and Australian Rotary Health Research Impact Award, and a 2017 Australia Endeavour Award to spend 6-months working with Harvard University’s Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders in Boston, USA.
She is currently working on two programs. Confident Body, Confident Child is a parenting program to promote body satisfaction, balanced eating patterns and physical activity in children aged 2-6 years. The teen Mental Health First Aid program is training course for secondary school students to learn how to assist a peer who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis, such as thinking about suicide. Laura is also a mum to two young boys who are constantly teaching her about child development.