About Mental Health Awareness

Margo Blacklaw

Margo ran a very successful training business that she sold three years ago. She managed contract trainers, admin staff and marketers. She grew the business over about 15 years with about 40 training courses and most of her clients were NSW Government employees and NSW local councils. The business delivered courses in the areas of communication, leadership and dealing with stress.

Margo Blacklaw

She then set up Mental Health Awareness which delivers courses such as Mental Health First Aid. The courses focus on managing your own mental health and supporting other people experiencing mental health issues. Often the question she is asked is ‘How do I manage my team members who are experiencing mental health issues?’

Margo is passionate about the area of mental health and the importance of early intervention (intervening early) to reduce the effects of mental illness. The more that people know about and are aware of mental illness, the more positive people will be to help reduce the stigma of mental illness. Her goal is to inform people to know what mental health is and how we can identify early warning signs in ourselves and others we associate with. Then to know what action to take.

Her relevant qualifications include an Arts degree majoring in Psychology and Sociology and a Graduate Diploma of Education at the University of NSW, two year College of Holistic Counselling Certificate course, Accredited trainer in Leadership Effectiveness Training, trained in Non Violent Communication and the 5 day Mental Health First Aid Certificate Instructors Course. She is now a principal master trainer in Standard, youth, blended online and refresher courses.

She is an ex-teacher so is very excited to get this message into schools with teachers, students and parents. Early intervention is crucial.

Margo has been training for 20 years and she is well aware of the importance of engaging participants to make the course relevant and interesting to them. Margo ensures the group feels safe as some of the topics raised can trigger emotions for some participants.

On a personal level she has been dealing with family and friends with mental health issues, such as alcoholism, anxiety, psychosis and bipolar.

She feels her strength is empowering people on their road to recovery.

Graeme Blacklaw

Is the owner and Managing Director of Mental Health Awareness. He has worked in the resource industry for 20 years. He has worked in the training and consulting environment for the last 15 years. His role is in finance – invoicing and tax.

Brian Silver

Bachelor of Economics, Diploma of Education, Certificate in Marketing, Mental Health First Aider

Brian is an experienced senior executive and corporate leader who has transitioned from the business world of Telstra, Optus and IBM to Mental Health training and coaching. This transition has also involved working with Secondary School children in both teaching and mentoring roles. He fully understands the impact of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar on a person’s ability to undertake something as simple as paid work. He is authentic in his belief that the community needs comprehensive mental illness education in order to change attitudes and bring an end to the associated stigma.

His training presentations and coursework are designed to help managers and staff develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to support individuals and teams, design work spaces that promote wellbeing and prevent factors that impact mental health. He specialises in how to identify the early signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions, the importance of early intervention, how to seek help, and how to speak to co-workers if you are concerned about their mental health.

The resulting benefits from Brian’s training include reduced worker’s compensation claims, enhanced productivity, reduced absenteeism, and higher staff retention rates. Brian is committed to your organisation having individuals with excellent mental health so everyone is at their peak and doing their best work.

Typical sessions are in an interactive workshop format and include facilitator presentation, plenary discussion, group work, video and case studies.

Carolyn Madden

Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Industrial Relations, Post Graduate Studies in Industrial Law, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment TAE40110, Cinergy Trained Conflict Coach, Certified to deliver Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP), Debriefing Skills in the Workplace, Advanced Communications Intensive (Newcastle Law School), Neuroscience Academy Certificate in applied neuroscience and brain health, Member of International Coach Federation (ICF), 3 Vital Questions Coaching Course: Transforming Drama to Designing Dreams; Mental Health First Aider

Carolyn is a skilled human resource professional who has specialised in training and coaching over the last 10 years. She has successfully delivering a diverse range of training programs in private industry and across multiple agencies of NSW Government, Local Government and Federal Government in metropolitan and regional Australia; conducting more than 500 courses covering in excess of 9,000 participants from senior executives down. A natural ‘people’ person, she is a strong communicator with excellent ability to manage a room and keep participants engaged and based on very positive feedback, often invited back to deliver extra workshops.

With an interest in employee wellbeing and positive psychology, Carolyn has developed programs around effective communication, conflict resolution along with building workplace resilience and helping employees to engage constructively in self-care and stress management in order to be more centred and calmer at work and home.

She is passionate about helping people reach their potential by performing to their best ability, while also looking after themselves and learning effective strategies to deal better with the increased stress of everyday living. She backs this up by staying up to date with current thinking and research on mental health and developments in neuroscience.

On a personal level, Carolyn has family experience with mental health disorders and understands the difficulty in knowing how to help and support someone experiencing mental health issues, and the impact that this can have on everyday life for all concerned.

Carolyn has a professional approach and able to competently represent clients across all levels of business.

Anne Silver

Anne has dedicated over 25 years of her life to helping others achieve their goals and realise their potential. She has a passion for coaching and mentoring others. Over the years she has become a skilled trainer, coach, manager, leader and motivator, helping countless individuals and organisations achieve high levels of success.

As a trainer, she has always believed in the power of education and personal development. She has designed and delivered training programs on a wide range of topics, from leadership and communication to technical skills and career management. She has a gift for breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand pieces, and she always tailors her training to the specific needs of her audience.

As a leader and manager, she inspires others to be their best selves. She has a clear vision of where she wants to go. And she has a talent for communicating that vision to others. She has always been a role model for her team, leading by example and setting high standards for herself and others. She understands the importance of building relationships and fostering a positive work environment. She has always been approachable and supportive.

As a coach, she has helped individuals and teams overcome their obstacles and reach their goals. She has a talent for asking the right questions, listening deeply and providing insightful feedback. She has coached everyone from entry-level employees to executives in both private and public sectors. She has always remained focused on helping her clients achieve their goals.

As a motivator, she is always positive and encourages others. She has a gift for helping others to stay focused on their goals. She has energy that is contagious and helps to motivate others.

Over all her career as a trainer, leader/manager, coach and motivator has been a good example of what it means to service others. She has dedicated her career to helping others succeed.

Matthew Henderson – Marketing Manager

Matt is our great marketer. He contacts our clients, emails and phones to inform them about our courses. He has studied Advanced Diploma in Accounting at TAFE SIT and Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at Australian Catholic University (ACU). He has completed courses in Cert III in Retail, Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG). He has volunteered with St Vincent de Paul Society and Salvation army in their various shops and Community Centres in Waterloo for many years. He is an enthusiastic member of Toastmasters International which he loves.

Alanna Stuart – Administration Manager

Certificate 3 and 4 in Business Administration, Certificate in Hospitality, Certificate in Responsible Services of Alcohol, Certificate in First Aid, Mental Health First Aider

Alanna handles all the administration side of the business and she co-ordinates all the courses. She

  • Restocks the necessary work-pages for the course booklet.
  • Restocks the Mental Health First Aid Australia manuals.
  • Works on the power-point slides.
  • Updates the databases
  • Types up training notes
  • Packs training materials for the various courses.
  • Works on the social media side by updating the official Mental Health Awareness Training Facebook page with information on the upcoming training courses and refresher courses and other social media we utilise to inform our clients.
  • Creates all the name tags
  • Creates the attendance sheets

Alanna loves drawing art, reading and playing her guitar. On another note she had great fun in creating our mascot ‘Mettle’ the cat.

Emma Boyne

Bachelor of Science, Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Emma has over 20 years experience working in health promotion and community development programs.

Emma is a highly skilled trainer and facilitator and accredited as a Master Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor.

Emma has a passion for mental health and wellbeing and is an experienced and engaging trainer.

Neil Robertson – Web Developer

Neil is the founder of Webilicious and helps with website maintenance, content updates and search engine optimisation.