Mental health charity beyondblue has launched a free online course to help aged care staff, including community care workers, recognise and manage depression and anxiety in their clients, as well promote their own mental health.

The program has been adapted from the Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC) workshop and is made up of seven, 30-minute modules.

Topics covered include understanding anxiety and depression, identifying and responding to suicide in aged care settings and looking after a person’s mental health at work.

The course also includes videos of aged care workers discussing the challenges they faced and how they got assistance to support their emotional and psychological wellbeing.

Chief executive officer of beyondblue Georgie Harman said frontline aged care staff have an important role to play in identifying the signs and symptoms of mental illness among older people.

“By being able to recognise when people are struggling or at risk of suicide, and knowing what steps to take to support them, aged care workers can have a huge positive impact on the mental health of those they care for,” she said.

“This is important as research shows some older people are particularly at risk of suicide.”

Ms Harman said by supporting aged care workers to have good mental health they will be able to perform better at work.

“Simple, inexpensive, short courses like this will add to the skills of this workforce, and improve the wellbeing of older Australians, without putting pressure on employers.”

The course has been accredited with the Australian Council of Nursing for Continuing Professional Development points.

For more information and to register visit beyondblue’s website here.

READ ALSO: Unmasking the symptoms of depression

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  1. Depression seems to have a long history of something that should be kept as a dark secret, I live with depression however I do t allow it to engulf my life. Now I can work and enjoy lifes challenges. I understand that not everyone is so lucky, but having support and the companionship of others makes such a difference.

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