Time spent on mental health training is an investment in people

Bust of head with sunglasses and band-aids

1 minute read

It’s Mental Health Week – an opportunity to check-in with yourself, and others, about our individual and collective inner state of mind.

While we acknowledge that initiating conversations about mental health can be uncomfortable, it’s often better to say something than nothing at all. But where to start?

As comms professionals, it’s important to know how to talk to our colleagues, clients, friends and family about mental health.

So in order to invest in these critical conversations for successful outcomes and agency culture, the Aruga team took time out to complete a Mental Health First Aid course.

Here’s what we learnt and what we’ll take onboard for real-world convos.

It’s not our job to fix the ‘problem’, but to listen and be a support to guide people in the right direction when they are ready.
Everyone has anxiety, apparently.
My biggest takeaway is your role isn’t to solve other people’s struggles, but more so to offer support or information to help them through.
As someone who has a longstanding relationship with the mental health seesaw (personally and via family and friends), I learnt a lot about how anxiety and depression presents itself in different people and how it affects them in the workplace.
Everyone’s lived experiences are different, and the key factor in any conversation about mental health is empathy. The less of your own stigma, prejudice, assumptions and expectations you bring to the table, the better you can help someone.
It was a good reminder for me that everyone’s self-care looks different and what works for you might not work for someone else when trying to support others.
Mental illness can occur in many different forms and first aid needs to reflect this – it’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
I was surprised to learn that one in five Australians has a mental health disorder each year, yet only 35 per cent of those people seek professional support. The more we can increase our personal and collective knowledge and continue to normalise conversations about mental wellbeing, the better and more empathetic we will become.
Ensure things are kept non-judgemental – just listen!
Listen, empathise and don’t try to fix or offer solutions.
We hope these takeaways help to spark awareness and important discussions for you during Mental Health Week and all the days of the year.

For more information and resources, head to:

Mental Health First Aid Australia

Black Dog Institute

Beyond Blue