Jodie Van Schie, Principal Master Instructor, MHFA Trainer Profile;
Q: What inspired you to become a MHFA Instructor and how long have you been delivering the courses?
As a carer of a family member with a mental illness, I am passionate about raising mental health literacy and increasing early intervention. I have been drawn to working in roles that enable me to do this and had the opportunity of training as a MHFA instructor in 2015 with the Department of Justice and Community Safety. In this position I delivered MHFA to staff as part of a region wide mental health and wellbeing strategy. Since then I have been delivering MHFA to individuals, organisation’s and community groups and am really excited about being part of the Counting on U program.
Q: Why do you think Mental Health First Aid training is so important for financial professionals?
Finance professionals are in a prime position to provide MHFA support to SME business owners due to their regular and ongoing contact with their clients. Having the knowledge and understanding of the signs of mental health problems and how to have a mental health first aid conversation can be a valuable skill set for financial professionals to have as the research tells us that there are links between financial difficulties and mental health problems.
Q: What makes you so passionate about your work as an MHFA Instructor for the Counting on U Program with Mentally Well Workplaces?
I feel privileged to be part of the Counting on U program. The combination of Mental Health First Aid and relationship building training provides a holistic approach to training business advisors to support SME business owners. In addition, the skills and knowledge learnt through the program can also be applied to the business advisors own mental health and wellbeing.
Q: What are 3 things you like to focus on and do exceptionally well when delivering Mental Health First Aid courses?
- Create a safe and engaging learning environment where people feel comfortable sharing their experiences and insights
- Offer opportunities to apply knowledge and skills to consolidate learning
- Empower people to have confident conversations about mental health
Q: What are your own self-care practices for staying mentally well?
I have a number of self- care practices which include:
Having a daily routine of yoga and walking
Getting plenty of sleep and a regular siesta (if my schedule allows)
Limiting my exposure to ‘sad’ news stories
focusing on what I’m grateful for before I go to sleep each night
Q: Why would you recommend finance professionals, small business owners and employees in general become accredited Mental Health First Aiders?
Mental health problems are common with 1 in 5 Australians affected each year. This is a community issue which requires community action and the more people trained in MHFA, especially those dealing with people at higher risk of developing mental health problems, the earlier people can receive treatment and have a better chance of recovery.