cropped-Geoff-Ahern-Black-and-White.jpgGeoffrey Ahern is a Senior Mental Health Clinician from Melbourne, Victoria.  Over the years, Geoff has gained extensive experience in Emergency and Trauma nursing, Rural Nursing, Alcohol and Other Drug Counselling and Psychiatric nursing, having worked in both the public and private sectors. He also holds a Masters Degree in Crisis Mental Health Intervention and is working in his PhD regarding suicide risk and young LGBT people.

He currently works part-time in a joint project between Eastern Health and Victorian Police where he attends mental health emergencies with police and tries to facilitate care in the community for the client, or if needed, a seamless transfer from the community to the hospital, thereby avoiding chaotic emergency departments.   When Geoff isn’t working with the police, you can find him conducting freelance education for various organisations in both the public and private sectors.

As an educator, he has been involved in one to one mentoring and staff in-services, right through to full-time lecturing at a tertiary level. He is a passionate and creative teacher, bringing to his audience stories and experiences that give life and meaning to the subject areas that he teaches, which includes such diverse areas as Psychopathology, Mindfulness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Management, Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction, as well as Suicide Awareness and Prevention.  Don’t expect a bland presentation loaded with theory if you attend his training! He likes to tell stories, connect with his audience, have some fun, laugh a little and even pay out on you.  He guarantees you will not go away depressed or disheartened about mental health, but optimistic and energised with new ideas for living well and helping others to do the same.

One of his major training ventures is running the Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid Course where he is now a Principal Master Instructor. 

If he had to choose an area he is most passionate about, it would be working with men.  He says,

“Our society is pretty much programmed to create men who are emotionally disabled from a young age and often turn in to mental car wrecks.  We are told to be strong and capable, and then criticised for not showing emotion and compassion, traits typically considered (in men) to be weak and pathetic.  If you don’t think we’re messed up, have a look at substance abuse rates and suicide rates in this country.  Look at who’s in prison and who’s standing before a magistrate having an AVO slapped on them.  It is almost always blokes; angry, sad, disheartened, confused and lost blokes.”

Geoff is also particularly passionate about understanding the ways in which things like exercise, nutrition, community, meaning and purpose, together with practices such as meditation, yoga and prayer can positively impact our mental and emotional health.