Locals are being encouraged to join in on Mental Health Week activities across the region and to “take time for mental health”, whether it be through exercise, fun or creativity.
Queensland Mental Health Week takes place from 9 to 17 October, with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service (WBHHS) and its partner organisations hosting many activities and events across the region.
WBHHS Executive Director of Mental Health and Specialised Services Robyn Bradley said Mental Health Week was an opportunity to take the time to check in and look for simple and frequent ways to boost personal mental health and wellbeing.
“Having good mental wellbeing is just as important as having good physical health,” Ms Bradley said.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how you’re feeling – taking a few moments for yourself each day will help you to lift your mood, respond positively to stress and help you get the most out of life.
“Mental Health Week also provides a platform for us to promote our ongoing WBHHS Shatter the Stigma campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that stigma relating to mental illness has on individuals, their families and their recovery.
“The more we can reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, the easier it becomes for people to start talking about their mental health challenges and to get the help that they may need.”
Ms Bradley said there were many ways the community could get involved during Mental Health Week.
“We’re partnering again with the dragon boating clubs at Hervey Bay and Bundaberg to offer free ‘come and try’ days, as a means of helping people to connect, engaging in exercise and embracing nature by being outdoors on our beautiful waterways,” she said.
“We’ll also be holding Parkrun takeovers at Bargara, Bundaberg, Maryborough and Hervey Bay where our team will take on all volunteer roles and use the opportunity to promote our Shatter the Stigma campaign.
“Parkrun is a positive, welcoming and inclusive experience where there is no time limit, and no one finishes last – everyone is welcome to join in on the fun, whether you walk, jog, run or volunteer.
“There will also be several educational and promotional events around Wide Bay raising awareness of the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing.
“Across our various mental health sites, our teams will also be hosting rock painting, morning teas, daily activities, cooked breakfasts and barbeque lunches and more for our staff, consumers and visitors.”
WBHHS is also encouraging people to take time for mental health by following six simple actions that have proven to improve moods, build resilience, and boost wellbeing:
- Get healthy— being active and eating well is good for your mind as well as your body
- Keep learning — learning new things can make you more confident as well as being fun
- Show kindness — practicing small acts of kindness, volunteering time, or simply helping a friend in need can help you feel more satisfied with life
- Connect — spending time with other people is important to everyone’s mental wellbeing
- Take notice — paying more attention to the present and the world around you helps relieve stress and enjoy the moment
- Embrace nature — connecting with the outdoors and taking care of the planet is the best recipe for world wellbeing.
To find out more about what you can do to help your mental health and wellbeing, visit www.qldmentalhealthweek.org.au.
Where and when you can join in the dragon boating
- North Bundaberg: Lions Park boat ramp on Saturday, 16 October between 2pm and 4pm.
Where and when you can join the Parkrun takeover
- Bargara: Saturday, Nielson’s Park, on Saturday, 9 October at 6.45am (for a 7am start)
- Bundaberg: Queens Park, Hope Street on Saturday, 16 October at 6.45am (for a 7am start).