17 August 2021

Lifeline Canberra offers free mental health training to all

| Karyn Starmer
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Carrie-Ann Leeson

Lifeline Canberra is providing free mental health training with a focus on the art and practices of self-compassion and reflection. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The uncertainty of living in a global pandemic and the unknown duration of lockdowns – yesterday extended to 2 September, just days after they were reintroduced in the ACT – has made the past 18 months tough going.

When will it end? What will the future look like? No one has the answers to these questions, so it is more important than ever to focus on increasing our well-being and emotional resilience.

Mental health experts agree that an important key to building emotional resilience is self-compassion, which looks very different from self-care. Self-compassion involves being aware of our own pain and suffering and understanding that this is a hard but normal human experience.

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To support the wider Canberra community, Lifeline Canberra has offered to provide free mental health training focusing on the art and practices of self-compassion and reflection.

The live online course, The art and practices of self-compassion and reflection, will run for 2.5 hours on Wednesday, 18 August and is open to everyone.

Lifeline CEO Carrie-Ann Leeson says their experience from lockdown last year has prompted them to design courses to help “get ahead of the curve”.

“We know there are those in the community who will greatly benefit from learning skills of self-compassion and awareness. We have spent the past 12 months designing courses for this purpose,” Ms Leeson said.

Wednesday’s course is an evidence-informed mental health program offering the very best practices moving forward in these uncertain times. Designed to help understand how self-compassion increases well-being and emotional resilience, the course will delve into the difference between self-compassion and self-care and identify ways to adopt robust self-compassion practices.

The course will run from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, and all you need to participate is a computer with a webcam and audio connection.

Interest in Wednesday’s course has been strong, but there is no limit to the number of participants. Ms Leeson says Lifeline Canberra may look at offering more courses in the future.

Nationally calls to lifeline have increased by 40 per cent over the past 12 months, and Ms Leeson says there has been a noticeable increase in calls over the past few days.

“Your call will always be answered, but when we are busy, please be patient if our wait times are a little longer,” Ms Leeson said.

“Make sure you take some time for yourself, stay safe, stay connected and reach out if you need help.”

For anyone struggling with lockdown, remember it is OK not to be OK. If you need support, call Lifeline Canberra anytime on 13 11 14.

For more information or to register, visit Lifeline Canberra.

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