The world of live events is full of passionate people working in a fast paced and ever-changing environment around the clock & around the world. With the recent COVID-19 impact (where a majority of companies working in this industry ground to halt overnight in March), it has taken its toll even more so on these people. Thanks to CrewCare and Support Act, companies around the country like Novatech have been able to add another way of looking out for staff with formal Mental Health First Aid Officer training for key staff.
One key staff member from Novatech, Operations Manager Liz Schoemaker, recently undertook the accredited course in Mental Health First Aid training for CrewCare members approved by the Mental Health First Aid body, facilitated by Paige Gaudry from PNP health and supported by CrewCare, Support Act and Griffith University. The training teaches about the signs and symptoms of common and disabling mental health problems in adults, how to provide initial help, where and how to get professional help, what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective, and how to provide first aid in a crisis.
This online certified training is intended for those individuals who are regularly in contact with concerned crew members and is aimed at providing them with the necessary tools and responses to ensure best practice and help those also deal with the stresses it can place on them. The 4-day courses have been specifically designed for crew and delivered online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CrewCare’s local Adelaide representative, Peter Darwin, remarked, “It’s great to see Novatech supporting CrewCare; in which this Mental Health First Aid training has become a major part of the whole scheme. Mental health has always been a major topic to CrewCare, regardless of COVID. We want to help all levels of business – from crew to management – and aim to have at least 200 people around the country trained by the end of the year”.
Novatech have always had a comprehensive health and wellbeing program for their 100+ staff based in Adelaide who travel to deliver events to all corners of Australia. As Liz comments, “The recent COVID situation has heightened the need to support our staff during these uncertain times with added support, access to resources and ensuring there is a general awareness around what is available. Being equipped to identify & handle various situations is crucial in being able to understand their circumstances and assist them seeking professional help as required.”
Liz continues “With the work that they do, crewmates are their family. But since times are quieter, when they don’t have gigs, they don’t have their crew family, they go home by themselves, thus don’t have the comradery that they may need. Foundation dissolves and they’re left questioning and unstable as the norm is out of whack. This training has given me some really useful tools on how to deal with situations, approach staff and appreciate just how many types of mental illnesses exist. It’s given me more perspective on just how serious and prevalent it is in our industry.”
As a result of CrewCare’s support, Novatech are now looking at training other people in their business, such as team leaders, on being more aware of their situation and people around them. Having a fully accredited Mental Health First Aid Officer in the organisation is another positive step forward in supporting their staff. Novatech are grateful to CrewCare and Support Act and strongly encourage all event industry employers to incorporate Mental Health First Aid Training in their business.