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Teen mental health first aid program roll out

The local business community has teamed up with mental health and connection specialists, Prevent Consultants, to fund a Teen Mental Health First Aid program which will be rolled out in local Northern Rivers secondary schools from this month.

The Teen Mental Health First Aid program is focussed on proactive mental health identification and prevention measures to promote good mental health among young people of high school age.

Northern Rivers businesses All Pest Solutions, Rapid Media, McGrath Ballina and Kubota have funded the program, which will be delivered in three schools over the next six months with the support of Lennox Head-based young men's mental health group, The Healthy Minds Club.

The program will be rolled out in Xavier Catholic College at Skennars Head, Ballina Coast High School at Ballina and Emmanuel Anglican College at Ballina.

Founder of Prevent Consultants Trent Chapman said the goal is to give every student in year 7 and 10 in the Ballina Shire the opportunity to attend a Teen Mental Health First Aid program.

The Teen Mental Health First Aid program is made up of a series of workshops that use unique learning techniques to inspire, educate and connect students to grow their physical, mental and social health. At the end of the program students know how to access every level of support from mental health professionals to self-advocacy.

Co-founder of The Healthy Minds Club Jackson Connellan, who only recently left high school himself, says the program is much-needed.

"I know the importance of prevention and I'm proud The Healthy Minds Club is involved as it aligns with our focus on supporting the Northern Rivers."

Along with schools, Prevent Consultants also works with local businesses to help educate, connect and implement helpful mental health strategies and culture into their businesses.

The Teen Mental Health First Aid program was officially launched last week.