Please note that Mental Health Boot Camp does not yet exist. It is a program we hope to get up and running soon.
Hands up if your physical health has ever been less than perfect. Have you ever done anything about that like exercise, eat better or even see a doctor? Of course you have, you're not silly!
What about your mental health? Has it ever been less than perfect? Have you ever done anything about that?
First Step is developing a first-of-it's kind program for anyone and everyone to explore (with structured, professional, on-line support) with different ways of maximising mental health and well-being.
Mental Health Boot Camp will provide a clear, flexible structure to help you incorporate mental wellness into your everyday life for 30 days. First Step’s team of mental health clinicians (clinical psychologist, counselling psychologist and mental health nurses) will tailor a flexible program of activities that will give you the structure and incentive to:
- incorporate activities into your daily life that improve your mental health,
- Increase your understanding of your own mental wellbeing,
- Leave you with a toolkit of what works for you,
- Leave you with the kind of positive experience that leads to lasting change
And it will be free . . . sort of. Mental Health Boot Camp will be a fundraising program for First Step that uses the sponsorship model with which you are already familiar. So you can improve your mental health and raise money for a not-for-profit organisation that does life-saving work with some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people . . . First Step!
How will it work?
- SIGN UP
You will be able to sign up on our website as an individual or talk to friends/family/colleagues/your manager about forming a team. Mental Health Boot Camp is designed to be a great team experience with fully integrated social media sharing (when and how you want) and the flexibility to start on any date that suits everyone.
- ONLINE SURVEY
Completing our online survey will help our clinicians learn what you are interested in, the kinds of challenges you face and what you’re already doing to maximise your wellbeing. This also gives you a baseline against which you can measure your progress.
Note: If our clinical team identifies an issue that they feel warrants a conversation they will contact you to discuss that. If necessary they will liaise, with your express written permission, with your local GP or other clinician to ensure your suitability, progress and safety. There is no charge for this additional service.
- GET YOUR PROGRAM
First Step’s expert team will tailor a flexible program of activities for you along the bio/psycho/social model, where you can choose which activities to complete to earn points. You'll have to earn enough points (ie. complete enough acitivities) to 'graduate' from the program (or else you'll get lumped with extra homework - to be avoided!). And there are two simple rules about when and how you can earn those points:
a) do at least one activity from each of the 3 categories every 3 days, and
b) do at least 1 activity every day.
You're personalised set of activity options could include:
- 30 minutes walking (10 points)
- Healthy (grains, fruit and no sugar) breakfast (5 points)
- Sugar (added) free day (10 points)
- Gentle stretching (5 points)
- Write a journal entry (10 points)
- No work-related activity from 5pm – 9am the next day (5 points)
- View a Mental Health Boot Camp video (5 points)
- Screen free evening (5 points)
- Call a friend instead of texting (5 points)
- Be home in time for dinner with the kids (5 points)
- Be on time all day (no points unless you do it!) (10 points)
- Write a letter (10 points)
Note that activities you're already doing do not earn you points. This is boot camp, and it's about making an extra effort for a set period of time.
As you progress you will be sent messages of encouragement and congratulations. We’ll try to keep you on track including giving you opportunities to catch up if you’re falling behind. No free passes though – you have to get stuck in!
Throughout Mental Health Boot Camp you will be well aware of how you are progressing through the program. We will also ask you to complete follow up assessments using the same clinical tool you first filled it in the initial survey. You can see if the program is having a positive effect on you and reflect on what you think is helping the most.
WHEN YOU FINISH
When you complete the program there will be plenty of options to brag on social media and share your learnings. We will ask you to complete a final online survey about your experiences, with a particular focus on what you’ve learnt and what you want to take with you. First Step clinicians will send you a summary of your progress in terms of activity, but also in terms of the clinical measurement tool. You’re a graduate of Mental Health Boot Camp!
At First Step we believe that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around. That’s something you can contribute to, while also giving your life a little nudge in the right direction.