A Romsey teacher has urged Macedon Ranges fathers and educators to sign on for the latest classes of an award-winning youth mental health training course, saying it’s a great chance to learn skills that could save lives.

Sacha Wilmann, head of senior secondary school at Hume Grammar, took part in a 14-hour course offered in March.

He said the council-run program provided knowledge crucial to helping young people in a crisis or those in the early stages of a mental illness.

“It was a real eye-opener,” Mr Wilmann said.

“Often when you’re a teacher or a parent, you just deal with it as it comes at you … you don’t really think about it beyond that.

“But those initial conversations you have, suggestions for getting assistance, and letting them know you’re there for them, can make a real difference.”

The course covers topics including anxiety, depression, psychosis, alcohol and drug problems, and eating disorders.

“To actually hear about the weight of numbers, and the fact that many of the issues are growing, and our health system’s capacity to deal with it … that was sobering,’’ Mr Wilmann said.

He recommended the course to any adult who has dealings with young people. A special men’s-only session will be held at Woodend’s Holgate Brewery in July and August.

Bookings essential. Details: 5422 0275

Course details: mrsc.vic.gov.au