Rotary Club of Randwick presented SSI Manager of Humanitarian Services David Keegan with a Paul Harris Fellowship last month for his work as a mental health first aider as well as recognition for his work with refugees and asylum seekers.
The Fellowship is named after Rotary founder Paul Harris and is awarded “to recognise people who exemplify the Rotary spirit of ‘Service Above Self’ ”. David was presented with the Fellowship after giving a talk to Rotary Club of Randwick members about his experience as a mental health first aid instructor.
David told the club that he dedicated himself to becoming a mental health first aider after a family experience with mental illness. As a social worker, he said, he had some basic knowledge of mental health but as a family member struggled to cope with bipolar disorder he found himself out of his depth.
He undertook studies on the subject, he said, and was able to help his family member on her journey of recovery. A Rotary statement said David was recognised for his on-going work as an instructor in mental health first aid as well as for his professional work with SSI and his role as a board member of Nepean Youth Accommodation Service.
The Rotary Club runs Mental Health First Aid courses that it says gives ordinary members of the community the tools and confidence to listen non-judgementally and encourage loved ones to access the right professional help. Information and registration details for the course are available here.