MSN Members’ Events during 2018

MSN Members’ Events during 2018
Robert Sams

Following our always-inspirational Scholarship Presentation Ceremony in February, members met again in April for the AGM and a presentation by Robert Sams, Regional Manager, Lifeline Central Coast. Robert spoke about tackling mental health in the workplace, the potential causes and in particular what each of us can do to support someone (perhaps someone we are mentoring) with mental health issues. He began by defining mental health as a positive concept related to the social and emotional well-being of individuals and communities. He noted that throughout life we all have “ups and downs” and that we are supported by having resilience and people around us who continue to give us hope.

Robert spoke of how one supports and encourages those we mentor who are having mental health issues and how important it is to continue to speak with and support them while maintaining a positive relationship. He made particular reference to the Mental Health Action Plan (from Mental Health First Aid Australia) which states: Approach, assess and assist with any crisis; Listen and communicate non-judgementally; Give support and information; Encourage appropriate professional help; and Encourage other supports.

Following his presentation Robert offered to send copies of his book “Social Sensemaking” to any MSN member who requested it. And it is probably not too late to ask for a copy.

Our second event for the year, is a 2-hour workshop on 26 June. The workshop will be led by Tony McLaughlin of Big Steps education who will explore with participants the topic “Anyone Can Mentor But Good Mentors Are Not Just Anyone”. The workshop addresses how we get the balance right in mentoring. Areas covered will include: How to begin to understand, reach, connect and engage the diverse range of kids that you might mentor. What 'tricks' to employ; what questions to ask and not ask? In essence, how to develop a mentoring session that best reflects your background and personality and engages your mentee/s as effectively as possible.
Our second workshop (on the afternoon of 4 September) will look at how best we work with and mentor students who are differently-abled.

MSN presentations and workshops are supported by a grant from Port Waratah Coal Services.