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?
Mental Health Boot Camp provides a wonderful, 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) tailors 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’s free . . . sort of. Mental Health Boot Camp is 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.
How does it work?
- SIGN UP
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
Complete our online survey that will help our clinicians learn what you are interested in, the kinds of challenges your 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 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. Activities will be spread across these areas. For example:
- 30 minutes walking (10 points)
- Healthy, fruity breakfast (5 points)
- Sugar 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 MHBC 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)
- GET STARTED
Now it’s time to do First Step’s Mental Health Boot Camp! Looking at the examples above, each 3-day-segment of the program would be complete if you do:
- At least one activity in each category
- At least one activity every day
- Your activities added up to 60 points over the 3-day-segment
You can dial up or dial down the difficulty to. We’ll tailor it to activities you’re interested in and a level of involvement that is achievable but challenging. It’s not meant to be ‘hard work’ but rather an enjoyable exploration of what contributes to your contentment, happiness and a rich life full of meaning and connection.
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!
- MONITOR PROGRESS
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 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!
Please don’t hesitate to email us if you think you might like to do Mental Health Boot Camp. We can explain more of the ins and outs, including the work of First Step and how we will use the funds you will raise.
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.