18 January 2023

Lifeline Canberra offers free mental health training

| Karyn Starmer
Start the conversation
woman in front of computer

Nationally, calls to Lifeline have increased by 40 per cent over the past 12 months. Photo: File.

Following its hugely successful training sessions during lockdowns, Lifeline Canberra is offering free online mental health training sessions in February.

Lifeline CEO Carrie-Ann Leeson says the organisation’s experience from lockdown last year has prompted it to design new courses to help Canberrans respond to the pressures they may be facing as life moves into a new normal.

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

READ ALSO How to turn 20 days of leave into 58 days of holidays in the nation’s capital

“While the pressures from lockdowns and restrictions have eased, we are seeing evidence of significant burnout in the Canberra community. Many people adjusted to life working from home but they are now finding the lines between home and work are more blurred than ever.

“We adjusted but now we have to go back. Not only do they have to keep up with the efficiencies gained working from home but on return to the workplace, they are now trying to deal with home issues remotely that they could sort out easily when they were at home.”

The course, The Art and Practices of Self-Compassion and Reflection, is an evidence-informed mental health program designed to help understand how self-compassion increases wellbeing 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.

Carrie-Ann Leeson

CEO Carrie-Ann Leeson says Lifeline’s experience from lockdown last year has prompted the charity to design new courses. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Ms Leeson says mental health experts agree that a 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,” she says.

The courses will run live and online from 9 to 11:30 am on four dates in February and are open to everyone. All you need to participate is a computer with a webcam and audio connection.

So far, interest in the 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 recently been a noticeable spike in people making contact.

READ ALSO You made a promise to yourself to improve your health this year – here’s how to keep it

“We are watching Canberrans struggle with the complexity of life and we are always here to help. Your call will always be answered, but when we are busy, please be patient if our wait times are a little longer,” Ms Leeson says.

“In the longer term, we really hope that with these courses, people will be able to find it within themselves to do the work themselves. It is more important than ever to focus on increasing our wellbeing and emotional resilience.

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

Course dates:

Wednesday, 1 February, from 2:30 – 5 pm
Wednesday, 8 February, from 2:30 – 5 pm
Friday, 17 February, from 2:30 – 5 pm
Friday, 24 February, from 2:30 -5 pm

For more information or to register, visit Lifeline Canberra.

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

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.