Mental Health First Aiders in your Local Community

I’ve always been mad,

I know I’ve been mad.

Like the most of us have.

Very hard to explain why you’re mad.

Even if you’re not mad.1

Such are the spoken words to be heard on ‘Speak to Me’, the opening track on The Dark Side of the Moon album. After which, the audio seamlessly segues into the second track, ‘Breathe’.

Breathe, breathe in the air

Don’t be afraid to care 2

Released in 1973, The Dark Side of The Moon is the rock band Pink Floyd’s most successful album with estimated sales of over 45 million copies.  It is one of the four best-selling albums worldwide of all time. 

The lyrics of the album are based on a common theme of human mental state and were influenced by the mental breakdown of  the band’s original front man and former primary songwriter, Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett.3

Mental health issues are not something new. 

When it comes to mental health issues, knowing how to provide initial help, and where and how to get professional help, can make all the difference.  Which is why the Rotary Club of Beaumaris decided to offer subsidised places on a course provided by Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFAA). 

Mental Health First Aid Course supported by Beaumaris Rotary Club  

Twelve participants, including business owners, a sports coach and people from the teaching, nursing and hospitality professions, learnt how to provide mental health first aid in a crisis situation using a practical, evidence-based action plan. 

We asked the twelve individuals, who completed the course, “what do the new skills mean to you?”  Here’s what they said. 

Melissa Marshall, Sharon Kilmartin and Stacey French

“The course provided me with the skills and knowledge to assist those who experience mental health challenges in their lives.” 

I now feel better enabled to reach out to members of the community who may feel isolated and encourage physical activity and connection with others – either regular walking or running group meet ups, or something along those lines.” 

Melissa Marshall

“I would like to thank Rotary Beaumaris for giving me this opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, which, to date I have applied the skills I learnt on both a business and personal level.”

Deidre Sabbatucci

“It was an invaluable opportunity to learn more deeply about the impact mental health issues have in our community and the signs to be aware of that indicate someone might need support, and how to give it.”


“The course provided me with an insight into the various mental health issues impacting people today, as well as assisting me to develop the necessary skills to provide support and guidance to people who may need it.”

“I have been able to offer an empathetic, non-judgemental listening ear when needed, whilst feeling surer of my ability to provide practical advice and direction.” 

Stacey French 

“Thanks to Beaumaris Rotary, I am now much better equipped to deal with what is such a large issue and will continue to be an issue into the future for our local community.”

Matt Tuohey

“The course was extremely useful and relevant, providing practical stories and strategies to enable me to offer support as needed  … the skills I have learnt give me the confidence to offer mental health first aid.”

Sharon Kilmartin

Thank you Beaumaris Rotary for supporting me to complete the Mental Health First Aid course.  It allowed me to learn a skill that will continue to help people when they need it.”  

Michelle Gilmore

Completing the Mental Health First Aid Course doesn’t give our participants a professional expertise in mental health. It does, however, mean that those who have completed the course know how to provide mental health first aid in a crisis situation using a practical, evidence-based action plan. They can recognise the signs and symptoms of common and disabling mental health problems in adults and know where and how to seek professional help.  

Sponsoring participation on the course is one small example of how Beaumaris Rotary have supported local people who want to make a positive difference in our community.

Want to learn more about Rotary? Please contact Megan: Tel: 0418 578 114

Megan’s our Beaumaris Rotary Membership Director. The title sounds a little formal but trust us, she’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet! 

1Spoken words to ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ opening track ‘Speak to Me’ by Chris Adamson, Gerry O’Driscoll, Peter Watts, and Clare Torry.

2Lyrics of ‘Breathe (In the Air)’ by David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Roger Waters.  

3Pink Floyd recorded several tributes to the late Syd Barrett, including the 1975 song ‘Shine on you Crazy Diamond’