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Mental Health Misconceptions

Learn how to identify the warning signs of a mental health crisis.
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© CQUniversity 2021

In this article, you will learn more about mental health crisis and specific warning signs.

Mental Health Misconceptions

Having a mental illness diagnosis does not define the person

It does not mean the person:

  • Cannot control their behaviour
  • Has the symptoms all the time
  • Will be violent
  • Not capable of studying or holding down a job.

A mental health crisis is when a person reacts to an experience or an event.

Mental Health Crisis Signs

Types of situations

Crisis situations could be, but are not limited to:

  • Suicidal thoughts and ideation
  • Self-harm such as cutting or burning.
  • Anxiety attacks
  • A crisis following a traumatic event such as domestic or family violence or abuse
  • A psychotic break following alcohol or drug use
  • A psychotic break.

Warning signs:

  • Inability to deal with a simple task
  • Mood swings
  • Agitated behaviour
  • Abusive behaviour
  • Losing touch with reality
  • Unexplained physical symptoms.


Effective Communication

  • 7% of what we communicate is based on vocabulary
  • 38% of what we communicate is based on voice inflections
  • 55% of what we communicate is based on nonverbal behaviour.

Tips to become a more effective listener

  • Concentrate
  • Try not to think about your response
  • Interact non-verbally
  • Do not interrupt.


As a fitness professional, it is your responsibility to work with your scope of practice and refer clients appropriately to their GP or health provider for follow-up and management.

Access the Fitness Australia website for further resources.

© CQUniversity 2021
This article is from the free online

Personal Trainer's Toolkit: Mental Health First Aid for Fitness Trainers

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