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Book now: Your guide to understanding mental health with leading mental health expert, Geoff Ahern

Published on 12 February 2020
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Unlike a broken arm or physical ailment, the symptoms of mental illness are not easily visible, you can’t see someone’s internal struggles. So how do you recognise the symptoms and behaviours of someone who might be experiencing a mental health problem?

Leading mental health expert and educator Geoff Ahern regularly comes across people at their very lowest.

As a senior clinician working part-time in hospital emergency departments assessing people who present in crisis, Geoff deals with people who are suicidal, behaving erratically or in a state of crisis.

While symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness, Geoff says knowing the early warning signs can help to determine whether someone should seek professional help.

“One of the reasons I have such compassion and understanding when working with a person with a mental health problem is that I have my own lived experience,” Geoff explains.

Prior to having any formal diagnosis, Geoff’s childhood was plagued by emotional events. As an adult, he dealt with feelings of depression and anxiety, something he admits took its toll on him physically.

Geoff, a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “survivor” and someone who is “thriving”, as he describes himself, is all about empowering people, especially men, to talk openly about their mental health.

Come along to a free presentation on Understanding mental health and hear from Geoff as he discusses identifying some of the causes and risk factors for mental illness and the steps people can take towards better mental health.

Hosted by Maroondah City Council, the presentation will include an introduction to mental health in Australia, the history and causes of mental illness, as well as a discussion on common mental health problems (anxiety, depression), suicide awareness, lifestyle changes and general mental health.

Geoff says anyone with an interest in gaining a better understanding of mental health and learning how to maintain mental wellness, would benefit from attending his talk.

“We’re realising more and more that we need to, as a society, move towards everyone having some basic knowledge around mental health, the way pretty much everyone knows how to perform CPR or recognise that a person might be having a heart attack, for example,” he says.

But be warned, Geoff says – don’t expect a bland presentation loaded with theory.

“I like to tell stories, connect with my audience, have some fun, laugh a little. I guarantee you’ll go away not disheartened about mental health, but optimistic and energised with new ideas for living well and helping others to do the same,” he says.

Presenter Geoffrey Ahern Understanding mental health presentation

This session will be facilitated by Geoff Ahern, a senior mental health clinician and educator with Mental Health First Aid Australia.

When: Tuesday 24 March 2020
Time: 9.30am to 4pm
Where: Maroondah City Council City Offices, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood East
Cost: Free

Morning tea and lunch will be provided.

This session is booked out.


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