15 February, 2021


“R U OK?” – One very important question.

Mental Health First Aid training has become an important part of the College.  At the end of 2020, we were very pleased to be able to advise that over 80 staff from across the College were trained to provide mental health first aid in various variants of the course – Youth, Community and Workplace.  The substantial commitment that we made as a College contributed to being awarded Gold accreditation as a MHFA Skilled Workplace.

Training in 2020 then moved to our students and all Year 7 students and boarders from Year 7 – Year 10 participated in Youth Mental Health workshops run by Mind Your Head Australia.  A number of our TCE boarders also voluntarily joined the workshops.

The feedback from the students was positive and many said that it gave them the necessary skills, knowledge and importantly, the confidence to support others who were suffering from mental health issues.   A key part of the training was clarifying their role as first responders and the value of getting health professionals involved to provide ongoing support.

Tthe commitment of our staff to the wellbeing of our College community is such that, by the start of Term 2, there will be nearly 120 staff trained, including many members of the College Executive.  That is, we have nearly 120 compassionate individuals who have spent hours learning, and being guided by an experienced trainer so that they are better equipped to identify mental health issues in their colleagues, our young people and our community.  Evaluations conducted by the training provider, MHFA Australia, “consistently show that MHFA training is associated with improved knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, knowledge of appropriate first aid strategies, and confidence in providing first aid to individuals with mental illness, benefits which are maintained over time.” (MHFA Australia, MHFA Research | Mental Health First Aid)

“It’s okay, not to be okay” – One very powerful statement.

Virginia Berechreee
Head of Professional Learning, Research & Innovation