Mental health counselling training available to the community

Throughout May and June, Baw Baw Shire Council is offering community members a unique opportunity to undertake mental health counselling training designed to equip people with the skills to support others in times of crisis.

The Accidental Counsellor program will be delivered in partnership with Lifeline Gippsland with funding by the Victorian State Government’s Council Flood Support Fund, and addresses the crucial need for non-professionals to provide immediate, yet safe, mental health support.

Participants in the program will learn how to recognise signs of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and the risk of suicide, and respond effectively.

The training emphasises the importance of appropriate communication, timely intervention, and how to guide individuals to professional help.

By participating in the Accidental Counsellor training, community members can contribute significantly to a safety net that fosters mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Lifeline Gippsland’s experienced trainers will lead these sessions, sharing their expertise in mental health and suicide prevention.

The training will be held at the following times and locations in Longwarry, Trafalgar and Yarragon:

  • Friday, 10 May at Longwarry Public Hall, Longwarry
  • Wednesday, 22 May at Trafalgar Community Centre, Trafalgar
  • Saturday, 25 May at Longwarry Primary School, Longwarry
  • Wednesday, 29 May at Longwarry Primary School, Longwarry
  • Wednesday, 19 June at Yarragon Bowls Club, Yarragon

For registrations please visit Humanitix at

“These five-hour session are more than just a training program,” says Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Cr Annemarie McCabe. “It’s an investment in community well-being. Participants will come away with not only the ability to assist others in distress but also strategies for their own self-care, ensuring they remain effective supporters without compromising their well-being.”

“Our communities have had to persevere in the face of serious negative impacts from severe weather events. The emotional and psychological impacts can be profound and we recognise the need for support,” says the Mayor. “We are grateful to the Victorian Government for the funding which is allowing us to collaborate with Lifeline Gippsland to bring the Accidental Counsellor training to our community.”

“These sessions will empower our residents with the skills to offer support and understanding to those affected by the crisis. It’s about strengthening our community’s resilience and ensuring that no one has to face these challenges alone.”

/Public Release. View in full here.