Red Cross hosting free four-hour mental health course in St Albans

With drought and bushfires affecting communities across the state, Australian Red Cross is a free Mental Health Matters course and webinar to people living in the Hawkesbury.

The course will take place on Saturday, February 29, from 10am until 3pm, at the Settlers Arms Inn, 1 Wharf Road, St Albans.

Dark days: Drought and bushfires are having a serious impact on the mental health of those impacted.

Dark days: Drought and bushfires are having a serious impact on the mental health of those impacted.

Anthony Cameron, Australian Red Cross trainer, said the free course would give participants important tips on maintaining their own mental health and ideas about how to support friends and family.

"People across NSW are in the middle of a once-in-a-generation drought and the bushfires are also having a very serious impact on communities. It is important that we all support each other to keep our spirits up," Mr Cameron said.

"Ongoing hardship can be difficult, and these free Red Cross courses are about giving each of us extra skills to keep on top of our own mental health, and to know the signs when friends and family need a bit of extra support."

Mental Health Matters is for communities in bushfire- and drought-affected areas including farmers, families and anyone in the community affected.

Courses are also happening in the Blue Mountains, Penrith and Lithgow.

Mental Health Matters is a four-hour face-to-face workshop, however a 90-minute webinar is also offered for those not able to attend the live events.

The program covers things like how mental health affects everyone, personal resilience, recovery after a setback, and recognising the signs to get the right support.

The courses were funded by Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network, as part of the Australian Government's Empowering our Communities initiative.

Registration is required at www.redcross.org.au/bluemountains.

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