The Order’s Mental Health First Aid Model
Soon after the Brothers arrived in Australia in 1947 they were being urged to move into a traditional area of the Order’s world-wide activity – mental health services. By January 1952 they had purchased an historic house, “Belmont Park”, at North Richmond NSW and begun operating it as a psychiatric hospital. This hospital, and its daughter hospital at Burwood NSW are still functioning as vital elements in Saint John of God Health Care Inc.
The Order’s commitment to the provision of mental health services can be seen in its presentation at the European Parliament in Brussels on 22 January 2020 the Mental Health First Aid model designed and disseminated by the professionals of the Hospitaller Order in Ireland. This is a way of promoting initial care and psychological support in the workplace, in order to ensure adequate preparation to be able to recognize and manage employee mental health, stress and burnout issues as soon as possible. The Mental Health First Aid team at Dublin’s Psychiatric Hospital, comprising some 40 professionals, plays a leading role in this field at the national level, having already trained over 7000 operators in Ireland. The professionals in the same team have also been tasked with running this training program on the initial management of mental health issues in the workplace in the European Parliament itself, which employs about 7,500 people.