Hero Town Geelong, Sylvia

Speaking at the #HumansinGeelongExpo on Sunday 8th October, Deakin Waterfront, at 2:30 pm is local Hero trainer, Rotarian and co-founder of Hero Town Geelong, Sylvia Gray. Find the group at Exhibition Site 36. The mission for Hero Town is to empower locals to enact positive change for themselves, for others and for their community. Sylvia, co-founder Atticus Gray and the Hero Town team were featured on Humans in Geelong at the end of 2015, during the Hero Round Table with renowned social psychologist Dr. Phillip Zimbardo. Hero Town has continued to grow remarkably since then.

Hero Town MHFA

“Our incredible team of volunteers has focused on refining and delivering Hero Training,” Sylvia enthuses. Ellie Jacques, another of Hero Town’s outstanding Hero Trainers, developed the module on the Hero’s Journey. Along with Tameeka York and Karli Mynott, the three have developed a school curriculum to feature the Hero’s Journey, Mindset and Social Resilience. Hero Town was also delighted to bring on Simon Dwyer as a Mindfulness trainer for another course in mindset and mindfulness.

On top of the exciting advances in Hero Training, Hero Town Geelong have also expanded their roster of training programs to include Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Initiatives to increase awareness of mental health are sorely needed in Australia, due to the alarmingly high rate of mental distress and mental illness in the Geelong and Surf Coast region. One in four young Australians aged 16–24 years have a mental disorder. In a recent survey taken of adolescents in the Surf Coast Shire, mental health services were one of the most needed services. Mental health was among the top three concerns among young people of this regions. Other concerns were school and bullying. “Young people are crying out for help,” says Sylvia, “that’s where Mental Health First Aid comes in.”

On the bright side, respondents of the survey indicated that they were more likely to seek help from their family and friends. By spreading awareness regarding the risk factors, early signs of onset, symptoms and crisis associated with mental illnesses, Hero Town is dedicated to addressing these concerns. The mission for Hero Town and the goal of providing MHFA is to increase the prevalence of knowledge about mental health, reduce stigma around mental illness and improve the outcomes of engagement with young people who may be experiencing a mental health concern or crisis. Much like first aid for a physical injury, MHFA is given until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves.

Sylvia will be sharing her knowledge about social psychology, Mental Health First Aid, and how everyday heroes need more information to provide support to a young person facing a mental health concern or crisis. With the help of Mental Health First Aid, Hero Town is dedicated to producing a Geelong community where people feel comfortable reaching out about mental illness, and creating heroes who are equipped to support them.

Written by @Steph Downing, meet her and our other team members at the #humansingeelongexpo

Read the feature on the Expo at the Hero Town blog: http://www.herotowngeelong.com.au/be-inspired-by-local-heroes-at-the-humans-in-geelong-expo/ The #humansingeelongexpo is Sunday 8th October, 10 – 3pm Deakin Waterfront. Loads of door prizes and fun for everyone!