Dr. Laura Hart is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Hart’s work focuses on developing and evaluating programs for the public to improve prevention, awareness and help-seeking for mental illness. She is the lead author and investigator of the teen Mental Health First Aid program, a training course for secondary students, and the Confident Body, Confident Child program to help parents prevent eating disorders and body image problems in their pre-schoolers.
Recent years has seen increased mental health problems among children and young people. If we could increase parents’ and teachers’ knowledge of child mental health, as well as their skills and confidence in recognizing and providing appropriate help when a child is developing a mental health problem, we may be able alleviate suffering and improve wellbeing.
Mental Health First Aid for Supporting Children: A program for adults living and working with children aged 5-12 years” is a new training program designed to increase the mental health knowledge and first aid skills of parents and teachers of primary school children.
The aim of this research is to conduct the world’s first evaluation of the new MHFA training program for adults living and working with primary school children. We will provide the training to 100 teachers and 100 parents across Australia to examine whether the program leads to better knowledge, recognition and skills in supporting children with mental health problems.
Co-investigators: Dr Amy Morgan, Professor Anthony Jorm, Professor Harriet Hiscock, Dr Claire Kelly and Karen Gregg.