Last year, Ladder Development Coach Brittany Bonnici completed her Youth Mental Health First Aid training at Mental Health First Aid Australia. Brittany is now an accredited trainer and delivered her first training session with one of our long-standing community partnerships, Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services.

Djerriwarrh Community and Education Services support a lot of different cohorts within the western suburbs of Melbourne and primarily focus on youth services. In her role as Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Brittany upskilled five Djerriwarrh staff members who are all working with people to re-engage them into employment.

Brittany’s sessions focused on the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan. This plan enables workers to identify when a young person may be experiencing a mental health concern and to gain the skills and an understanding on how to approach different situations.

“It begins with a conversation with that young person to help them gain appropriate support that can help minimise the risk of a mental health crisis,” said Brittany. 

 Brittany reflected on her first training session.

“It was great for my first session to be completed with a group of people I was familiar with who also have a good previous understanding of mental health so that I could trial different presentation techniques and reflect openly with them along the way.”

Donna (Djerriwarrh staff member) who attended the training session learned a lot from Brittany and the training sessions she provided.

This was my first time completing a Mental Health First Aid course, and I am so pleased to have undertaken it as it has given me lots to reflect on and enhanced my knowledge and skills to better support a person requiring mental health assistance. Brittany Bonnici from Ladder was the facilitator of the course. Britt as she likes to be called, prepared well for the sessions and was aware of the group she was training and what areas in specific would be more beneficial for us. The main areas I enjoyed was how Britt delivered the sessions, she made the area safe and non-judgmental for open discussions and mindful that the content could be difficult for anyone in the group. Britt informed us that this was her first time providing this training, she was organized and methodical and clearly knowledgeable. I really liked if she could not answer a question, it got pinned on the board as a reminder to get the information and revisit it. I came away from this training better prepared to deal with a person either in a mental health crisis or to assist and support the person to seek professional help. This training by Britt has increased my confidence and ability to identify a person struggling with mental health issues – Donna, Djerriwarrh Worker

 Brittany will soon begin delivering training across Ladder and to representatives from the AFL industry.