Mental Health Week 2015: Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

MENTAL HEALTH WEEK 2015

October 4th to 10th is Mental Health Week. In fact, October is designated as Mental Health Month.

This years’ theme for Mental Health Week is “Mental Health Begins With Me” with three objectives – to reduce stigma, encourage help seeking behaviour and foster connectivity in communities.

“This is a time for us to reflect on mental health and wellness. On how well we look after our mental health and wellbeing; how we perceive and treat people who are mentally unwell; and how the community we can come together to support each other, encourage self-care and make it ok to ask for help” said Mr Paul Tomaszewski, CEO of the Mental Health Association of Central Australia or MHACA as it is locally known.

Mental unwellness affects 20% of the Australian population. This means 1 in every 5 people suffer from a mental disorder. The consequent impact of mental unwellness in our communities, our families, society and our economy is enormous.

For workplaces, this becomes an issue of duty of care, work health safety and productivity, and impacts on business performance, elevating risk for sufferers and business owners alike.

In families and communities the impact is even greater as people grapple with the misconceptions and myths surrounding mental illness and see the impact of mental unwellness on their loved ones.

We look after our physical bodies in different ways, staying healthy and maintaining a strong body. Our brain and mind need the same care and consideration.

“Looking after our mental wellness is important for everyone. Mental illness does not discriminate and we should all do things which help to keep us well and to be conscious of what other people might need also. We are all equally at risk if we do not look after our mental health.

Understanding and considering people who may be experiencing distress in our communities and our families is just as important” Mr Tomaszewski added.

This Mental Health Week, MHACA is encouraging the community of Alice Springs to make two promises – to inform themselves about mental health and to look after their own mental health.

During Mental Health Week, MHACA is having several events to help community members to make and keep this promise.

DATE Event
Monday 5th October 2015

MHACA is launching its Mental Health Matters package – a series of 1 hour awareness raising workshops for busy executives and community leaders that seeks to reduce the stigma of mental health and provide facts to help workplaces to be better informed about support needs and options for their staff.

 

Tuesday 6th October

MHACA will be holding a stall at Yeperenye Shopping Centre, providing information and support to the community, encouraging people to make a promise and being available to answer any queries people might have about mental health and services available in Alice Springs.

 

Wednesday 7th October. From 4 to 7pm

MHACA is inviting the community of Alice Springs to visit its premises at 14 Lindsay Avenue, Eastside to check out our service, see what we do and how we can help people who may be experiencing a period of distress or unwellness. There will be a range of fun activities for everyone to participate in, healthy food and music.

We will also be hosting the Tour X Oz cyclists.

One in seven Australians will be diagnosed with depression at some stage in their lives and millions more will experience symptoms but never seek professional help.

This is the cycling motivation behind not-for-profit organisation, TourXOz which is organising three groups of cyclists to leave Adelaide on Saturday 3 October and ride relay (3,565kms) reaching Darwin eight days later on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, 2015.

The community of Alice Springs will be able to meet the cyclists and catch up with them about their adventures.

 

Friday 9th October from 10 am to 2pm

Along with other services, MHACA will be supporting Stress Less In the Park. Now becoming an annual event, community members are invited to have a stress less day, see what we can do look after our mental health and catch up with what services can offer, all while having a lot of fun and games with food and great takeaways.

 

“We look forward to hosting the community of Alice Springs at all of these events. We want people to come together to help reduce the stigma that surrounds mental unwellness and to take action about our own mental health.”

For further information about our programs, contact Anjali Palmer on 0428 605 674.

Media Contact – Paul Tomaszewski 0401 013 042.