The Irish Support Agency kicked off their Heath & Wellbeing Program in November 2016 with Mental Health First Aid training for Irish Community groups thanks to funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs' Emigrant Support Program.

Mental health first aid is the help given to someone developing a mental problem or in a mental health crisis. Regular first aid courses are widespread, however most of these courses do not address helping with mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid training aims to fill this gap. 

Representatives from Irish Community groups including GAA clubs, Sydney Rose of Tralee, Darkness into Light, Irish National Association, Sydney Queer Irish and Irish Brekkie Club undertook a two day certified training program delivered by trainer Elaine O'Brien. By including representatives of these active groups the impact of training will be widespread in the Irish Community in Sydney. 

Elaine, originally from Co.Cork, is a mental health professional with vast experience in both Ireland and Australia. She delivers this training regularly but this was the first time she delivered it specifically to a group of Irish people living in Sydney.

Next Training Dates:

Thanks to funding from Penrith Gaels Cultural and Sporting Association we are pleased to offer our second Mental Health First Aid Training Course for the Irish Community in NSW.

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 2017.
9.30am to 4.30pm
Mill Hill Community Centre, Bondi Junction.
Lunch provided.

Eligible participants
Irish people, or those with Irish heritage, living in NSW. 

Spaces are strictly limited.

Contact Roisin on 02 9300 8019 or for an application form. 

Speaking after the training Elaine said;

"I believe it is really important to run Mental Health First Aid Training for Irish communities in Sydney, not only to educate people on what is mental illness, but to give people the confidence and skills in providing support. The more we educate people the more likely we are to reduce the stigma around mental illness.
We are all a long way from home and often unsure of services available. This course gives us information and ideas on where to go to access mental health support in Sydney. Having groups specific to the Irish community coming along helps people form networks and adds to their support systems. Mental illness affects 1 in 5 people in any given year, and the more we educate people the more likely people are going to be, in seeking help, and this will help provide better outcomes for the person experiencing mental illness."

Our thanks to the students who gave up their weekends to undertake the training, Elaine for being a fantastic source of information and to the Irish Consulate and Irish Abroad Unit for making the training possible.

We hope to roll out the training to other Irish groups in 2017. If you engage with a number of Irish people on a regular basis and feel that your group / organisation would benefit from Mental Health First Aid training get in touch with Roisin at