Training in youth mental health

MH101 is a one-day-workshop training programme designed to increase participants’ confidence in recognising and responding to people who are experiencing mental health issues or distress.

The programme was designed and is delivered by Blueprint for Learning and is endorsed by the Ministry of Health. Overall to date, MH101 has been delivered to nearly 6000 frontline health and social sector staff across New Zealand.

‘… [it taught me to] become a better listener; not to be judgemental – to be that one person who could make a difference.’

Following the launch of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project in 2012, the developers designed a new version of MH101 to focus on dealing with mental health issues in young people. Now the programme is meeting a gap for youth mental health specific training across the social and health sectors.

Feedback from workshop participants has been positive, with youth providers remarking on how MH101 has provided the foundation skills required to understand mental health issues and determine supports for young people.

‘I think the course was very well run, and the personal experience validated the content. It was good to have a foundation to work from so we can make an assessment of a situation to pass on to the professionals,’ one youth provider said.

Another youth provider listed the main benefits of the programme as including learning to ‘… become a better listener; not to be judgemental – to be that one person who could make a difference.’

More than 240 frontline staff working with young people have received training through the MH101 workshop since the new module was introduced. In 2013, training was extended to Attendance Service staff (through the Ministry of Education) and Work and Income Youth Service staff. Further workshops are scheduled over the coming months to train youth workers, Attendance Service staff and secondary schools’ social workers.

‘… the excellent facilitation and personal experiences shared made the course “real”.’

The MH101 programme has been taken up by a range of Government agencies, including Housing New Zealand, the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Social Development, which intends to widen access to the programme to more than 2000 Work and Income frontline staff.

‘I had a good understanding of mental health before the workshop, but the excellent facilitation and personal experiences shared made the course “real”. Topics covered were relevant and will assist my role immensely while working with whānau,’ said one youth provider.

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