Mental health first aid for legal professionals

It's common now to hear the phrase: A good lawyer is a well lawyer. Ensuring we are looking after our mental health is a significant part of our wellbeing.

In support of our practitioners, we are bringing you an accredited mental health first aid course for legal professionals. 

In Australia, nearly 1 in 5 adults will experience a mental illness in any one year. Within the legal profession, the incidence is far greater, with 1 in 3 lawyers at any one stage suffering heightened stress and anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders.

Stigma and a lack of organisational support remain the greatest barriers to help-seeking in the profession. Early intervention can mean more positive outcomes, including better employee engagement and workplace culture, and can prevent problems deteriorating. Having people in your organisation who know how to assist is fundamental in ensuring the safety of staff. 

This accredited mental health first aid course will give you the tools to assist a colleague or client who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Learn to recognise the signs and symptoms, and how to respond.

The course will cover:

  • how to recognise signs and symptoms of mental health problems and crises in your clients, employees and co-workers
  • understanding the risk factors, and appropriate evidence-based treatments and supports
  • how to respond and offer appropriate support to clients, employees and co-workers using the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan ALGEE.

The course combines a 6-8 hour online (eLearning) component with a follow-on face-to-face training session.

Accreditation

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will attain a 3-year accreditation through MHFA Australia

Details

  • When: Wednesday 1 May 2024, 9:30am to 2:30pm
  • Note: This is an accredited course, which includes 6-8 hours e-Learning that is recommended to be completed prior to the F2F session
  • Where: ACT Law Society training room, Level 4, 1 Farrell Place, Canberra City
  • Cost: $250 per member (includes e-Learning module, face-to-face session, and a light lunch)
  • CPD: Members will earn 5 CPD points, 2.5 in core area 2 (Practice management and business skills), and 2.5 in core area 3 (Professional skills)
  • RSVP by Tuesday 16 April 2024
  • For further information please contact events@actlawsociety.asn.au

Reduced rates may be available to some of our members to ensure equal training opportunities. Please make contact to discuss your eligibility.

Event registration terms and conditions

Fees are payable upon registration. 30 days payment invoices are available to members at the discretion of the Law Society. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'New Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made up to two working days prior to the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. For cancellations within two working days of the event, no refunds or credits will be applicable. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.

 

 

Registration

Single ticket (members) $250.00(GST incl.) Register
Single ticket (non-members) $350.00(GST incl.) Register

Schedule

Accredited Mental Health First Aid for Legal Professionals This course combines a 6-8 hour online (eLearning) component with a 5-hour follow-on training session.

Participants will learn how to assist colleague or client who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

COMPONENT 1: The eLearning component of the program will cover and will be distributed to registrations on RSVP date

Developing mental health problems: Depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance use problems and eating disorders

Mental health crises: Suicidal thoughts and behaviours, non-suicidal self-injury, panic attacks, traumatic events, severe psychotic states, severe effects from alcohol or other drug use and aggressive behaviours.

COMPONENT 2: The 5-hour interactive workshop will cover: Learn how to recognise signs and symptoms of mental health problems and crises in your clients, employees and co-workers. Understand risk factors and appropriate evidence-based treatments and supports. Learn how to respond and offer appropriate support to clients, employees and co-workers using the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan ALGEE

Session 1:

  • Revision of eLearning modules
  • Mental health in the legal industry
  • Revising ALGEE Anxiety and Depression
  • Crisis first aid for suicidal thoughts
  • Applying MHFA in your workplace

Session 2:

  • Revision of eLearning modules
  • Available resources
  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychosis Substance use problems
  • Applying MHFA in the workplace
  • Self-care
  • Using the MHFA Action Plan to help

Speakers

Desi Vlahos, Accredited Mental Health First Aid Instructor, CEO & Founder Wellceum

Desi is a senior lecturer of the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian College of Applied Professions in partnership with the Law Institute of Victoria. She is an Australian Legal Practitioner and experienced practical legal training mentor for emerging practitioners. She is also the CEO and Founder of Wellceum, a workplace consultancy supporting legal and professional services integrate strategy to manage psychosocial risk, improve employee resilience, and create visible social impact. Admitted in 2005, Desi has practiced in mid-tier, suburban and private firms. In 2013, Desi completed a Graduate Diploma of Education with a focus on legal studies and literature. As a certified mental health first aid trainer, Desi is a strong advocate for mental health, the wellbeing of new lawyers and the profession as a whole.

In 2019 she contributed to a book chapter on time perspective in relation to wellbeing and productivity in Lexis Nexis’ ‘Wellness for Law: Making Wellness Core Business.’ Desi is a director of the Minds Count Foundation in Australia and a Commissioner on the IBA Professional Wellbeing Commission at an international level. She holds the seat of APAC liaison for the IBA Academic and Professional Development Committee.

Most notably, Desi was named Australia’s Lawyer’s Weekly Women in Law Wellness Advocate of the Year for 2021 and again in 2022.

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