First aid mental health battle is big

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Ellison Bloomfield knows that immersing herself in the stories of individuals who have benefited from mental health first aid training is a gratifying way to raise awareness.

Recently, the marketing manager with Mental Health First Aid Australia did this by promoting MHFAA’s online video campaign I Am One.

The campaign, which champions World Mental Health Day and celebrates the two million mental health first aid-trained individuals worldwide, features the stories of five first aiders who have put their training to good use.

“It’s something to be really proud of, hearing the stories from these people about when they’ve seen someone in a crisis situation and they’ve been able to have that conversation,” Bloomfield says.

“Potentially the conversations these people are having are saving lives.”

MHFAA is a national not-for-profit mental health first aid training provider that teaches trainers to skill the community to identify and respond effectively when others are experiencing both subtle and obvious mental health issues.

Bloomfield says her day’s to-do-list includes activities such as managing the MHFAA’s customer-facing website, promoting e-learning courses to universities, preparing to release the final instalment of the I Am One video campaign and assisting a colleague to review teaching notes for a course scheduled to launch in the next few months.

Through her work, she tries to influence perceptions, education and the discourse around mental health.

“There’s a lot of conversation about stigma and I don’t really like the word,” she says.

“I think it’s just more so that people don’t understand what someone who is unwell can look like and they don’t understand how to talk to someone about it.”

Bloomfield, an experienced marketer who started in the role in June, has previously worked in a range of related areas such as global social media marketing manager for skincare company Aesop, social media marketing manager for ad agency BWM Dentsu and digital content developer for Deloitte Digital.

Having reached a point in her career where she is enthusiastic to use her marketing chops for altruistic reasons, Bloomfield says MHFAA is a perfect fit.

But with a move to Victoria’s Surf Coast on the cards for early next year, she’s seeking to start a new role accordingly.

Given her passion for health advocacy, it feels like a safe bet to say that she won’t be working for a cigarette company.

“Having done this sort of work in a place that is so supportive and let’s me do work I’m really passionate about, I know I’m not going to take a role with a company that doesn’t align with those values,” she says.

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