RVA Education: Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context

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Welcome to the Applying Mental Health First Aid in a Rare Disease Context Resource.

This resource has been designed to assist those working with the rare disease community with Mental Health First Aid.

Developed in consultation with people living with a rare disease, the Companion Resource complements Mental Health First Aid training.

Mental Health First Aid training is not specific to the rare disease experience, so this companion resource will focus on:

  • Understanding mental health and wellbeing in the rare disease context.
  • Applying Mental Health First Aid in the rare disease community, including promoting awareness of available resources and referral pathways.
  • The role of rare disease organisations in supporting the mental health of personnel and communities.
  • Self-care and support for employees and volunteers working in rare disease organisations who are providing support to others.

Important: this resource does not provide advice or recommendations on mental health and wellbeing. Individuals are encouraged to consult with relevant health professionals when accessing or utilising mental health and wellbeing resources.

For immediate mental health assistance, click to go to Head to Health.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing this course, participants should be able to:

  • Summarise the prevalence of rare disease in the Australian context.
  • Explain the National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Disease‘s points on mental health and rare disease, and propose ways in which their Rare Disease Organisation can adopt the plan.
  • Identify common challenges and experiences shared by people living with a rare disease.
  • Describe the links between rare disease and mental health.
  • Explain the importance of Mental Health First Aid training in the context of rare disease, and outline basic useful resources.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of current organisational approaches to Mental Health First Aid and rare disease.
  • Identify new strategies and barriers to providing appropriate Mental Health First Aid within their organisation.