Chris Van Es

Psychische Gesundheit für alle

MELBOURNE – An einem Frühlingsabend im Jahr 1997, zu einer Zeit, da ich als Forscher für psychische Gesundheit an der Australischen Nationaluniversität in Canberra arbeitete, diskutierte ich mit meiner Frau Betty Kitchener - einer diplomierten Krankenschwester, die in ihrer Freizeit für das Rote Kreuz Erste-Hilfe-Kurse gab - die Unzulänglichkeit der konventionellen Erste-Hilfe-Ausbildung. In derartigen Kursen wird auf psychische Notfälle typischerweise nicht eingegangen, wodurch die Teilnehmer auch schlecht darauf vorbereitet sind, Menschen zu helfen, die unter Selbstmordgedanken, Panikattacken, posttraumatischem Stress, Alkohol- oder Drogenproblemen sowie einer verminderten Kontrolle der Realität leiden.

Betty kannte die möglichen Folgen eines derartigen Wissensdefizits aus eigener Erfahrung. Im Alter von 15 Jahren durchlebte sie eine schwere depressive Episode, die in einem Selbstmordversuch gipfelte. Doch ihre Familie und ihre Lehrer erkannten das Problem nicht und so erhielt sie weder Unterstützung noch professionelle Hilfe. Diese fehlende frühzeitige Behandlung beeinträchtigte ihre Erholung und so erlebte sie während ihres weiteren Lebens immer wieder depressive Episoden.

Um sicherzustellen, dass nicht noch mehr Menschen wie Betty alleine leiden mussten, beschlossen wir, in unserer Gemeinde einen Erste-Hilfe-Kurs für psychische Gesundheit ins Leben zu rufen. Drei Jahre später, als Betty ihre Erwerbstätigkeit reduzierte, um die Grundlagen für einen Erste-Hilfe-Kurs für psychische Gesundheit zu entwickeln, gelang es uns schließlich, mit dem Kurs zu beginnen.

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