Mental Health First Aid and the NDIS – Does Your Workforce Have the Right Skills?

Mental health first aid | A tatooed man sits smiling facing the camera with support group talking in the background

What impact can Mental Health First Aid have on NDIS providers, their staff and their participants?

Market analysis of NDIS growth trends continually identifies psychosocial disability supports as an area in need of significant development (and need for participant support).

With many providers stepping into this space, it’s important to be able to set yourself apart from the others and make your business a leading provider.

Speaking from experience, one of the biggest issues with finding the right provider ‘fit’ for psychosocial participants is the staff’s capability for supporting people who have challenging behaviours. This goes further than just the use of restrictive practices; more commonly the skillset needed is being able to understand and respond to unpredictable and fluctuating needs.

To do this well, staff need to be confident, capable, and adaptive. Time and time again it’s become apparent that these aren’t skills that come naturally to everyone, but thankfully they are skills that can be taught.

Being able to be a leading provider in this space means employing staff who have expert skills such as:

  • how to communicate to and make decisions with people who have reduced capacity,
  • how to complete ‘on the run’ risk assessments,
  • how to effectively set and maintain boundaries,
  • how to identify early warning signs someone may be becoming unwell, and
  • how to assist with increasing people’s motivations to engage in activities and daily tasks.

It’s not about having staff that knows absolutely everything, but it is about having staff that can do their specific job well. These skills come from experience, and they also come from knowing the best practice approaches and with staff feeling capable and confident each day when they come to work. In my experience, it’s when staff are scared or unsure that avoidable mistakes occur.

This is where professional development/training in Mental Health First Aid can fill that gap.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches staff how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem, or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

MHFA training can be delivered in a tailored way that provides your staff with the necessary skill sets that will ensure they can support participants with psychosocial disability.
As a result, you and your staff will have:

  • an increase in education and understanding of mental health and disability,
  • increased confidence when supporting participants who have severe mental health conditions,
  • reduced need for use of restrictive practices,
  • reduced participant hospital presentations and use of emergency services,
  • increased staff satisfaction and retention, and
  • increase in the level of quality of support provision, moving from reactive support to preventative and proactive support.

About Kimberley

Having worked in the mental health and disability sector for over a decade, Kimberly has found a passion for educating and training workers to be able to better support those living with a psychosocial disability.

Throughout her career, she has coordinated services and supports for people who have complex needs due to their psychosocial disability. As a result, she has become adept at identifying providers who have a competent workforce and has learnt what to look for and what to avoid.

Kimberly has experience working with organisations to tailor evidence-based training to their staff to work either with specific participants or certain participant profiles, such as those who have challenging behaviours related to their Personality Disorders.

Kimberly is also a qualified Standard Mental Health First Aid instructor and has over half a decade’s experience delivering MHFA courses to NGOs, public health staff, and government agencies. Kimberly takes pride in being able to purposefully target content based on the trainees’ needs and area of work so it can be easily applied into their practice.

Current Offer

2-day community-based Mental Health First Aid courses from $150 per staff member, and private 2-day courses from $1000 per course*.

To register for a Mental Health First Aid course or to learn more about how you can provide the best service possible to your participants, Email Kimberly or phone her directly on 0405 560 937.

*Please note the fee structure differs for online course delivery.