As announced by our pres­i­dent Alis­tair Cook in Decem­ber, the board has approved a three year plan aimed at increas­ing our member’s and in turn our com­mu­ni­ties’ well­be­ing.

This ini­tia­tive is ground break­ing for surf life­sav­ing clubs in West­ern Aus­tralia and brings surf life­sav­ing into line with oth­er organ­i­sa­tions and sport­ing codes.

The ini­tia­tive is aimed at increas­ing your under­stand­ing of what actions you can take to keep your­self and sup­port oth­ers to keep well. It will increase your aware­ness of how your men­tal health is pos­i­tive­ly impact­ed by your phys­i­cal health and how clubs such as Mul­laloo SLSC have a vital part to play in encour­ag­ing and enabling behav­iours which increase well­be­ing.  It will edu­cate our younger club mem­bers (and be a good reminder for the not so young) on the impor­tance of pos­i­tive life habits such as good nutri­tion, good sleep, the effects of reg­u­lar exer­cise, hav­ing a rou­tine, how to build resilience and the impor­tance of belong­ing and giv­ing to a com­mu­ni­ty.

The Back to Front Christ­mas Tree which recent­ly saw many gifts being dis­trib­uted to the hun­dreds of home­less peo­ple in Perth was the first event to be held under this port­fo­lio. Thank you to all who con­tributed, the gifts were grate­ful­ly received by Ruah and brought much joy to those who oth­er­wise would have gone with­out. Next year we hope to build on this activ­i­ty and pro­vide a Christ­mas morn­ing break­fast to ensure that no one is alone in our com­mu­ni­ty on Christ­mas morn­ing.

The edu­ca­tion­al aspect of this plan will see Patrol Cap­tains and Age Group Man­agers giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate in a two day Men­tal Health First Aid Train­ing Course. This is aimed at giv­ing these lead­er­ship roles the skills and knowl­edge required to iden­ti­fy and respond to those who may be show­ing signs of men­tal health chal­lenges in the same man­ner that we respond to those who need some phys­i­cal first aid. This train­ing is high­ly valu­able and will be run twice dur­ing the off sea­son.  It is impor­tant to under­stand that whilst the train­ing helps to iden­ti­fy, under­stand, and pro­vide an ini­tial con­ver­sa­tion­al response to men­tal health issues, it does not qual­i­fy hold­ers to pro­vide treat­ment. How­ev­er; it does teach some good sim­ple tech­niques equip­ping trainees with the abil­i­ty to sup­port peo­ple to seek treat­ment from either their GP or a qual­i­fied men­tal health prac­ti­tion­er.

The ini­tia­tive will also see impor­tant sup­port num­bers such as Life­line not­ed on our clubs home page and reg­u­lar arti­cles placed in our newslet­ter, the first will be on how to set your­self up for suc­cess when set­ting New Year’s Goals. No doubt the hordes of novice run­ners, cyclists and swim­mers who hit our won­der­ful Perth beach­es, pools and roads every year around this time will be think­ing about!

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