Mental health first aid courses will be held across the Adelaide Hills to teach drought-affected communities how to support people doing it tough.

Participants will learn how to help people with, or in the early stages of, mental illness and how to respond to them in a crisis.

The course, which is free, is part of a drought assistance program currently being rolled out in regional South Australia by Centacare Catholic Family Services.

The program aims to assist people to manage a healthy work/life balance and the pressures changing climatic conditions place on relationships, finance, health, wellbeing and parenting.

“Drought and unpredictable weather can have a significant impact on farmers’ physical and mental health, as well as the wellbeing of their families, businesses and the communities they help to sustain,’’ said Jessica Justice, Centacare Drought Assistance Practitioner.

“We want to teach people how to respond if a friend asks them for help because providing appropriate support early on is critical to preventing crisis in the future.”

The Mental Health First Aid Course will be held at Infuse Church, 147 Hurling Drive, Mount Barker, on Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11 from 9am to 3pm.

Courses will follow in Tintinara, Balhannah and Tailem Bend.

The support is being funded by the Australian Government’s Drought Assistance Program.

Applications for the mental health first aid course close Friday, February 5.

To register, or for more information, please phone Centacare’s Murray Bridge office 08 8215 6320.