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Walk and Talk to support men’s health

Walk and Talk men's health
Take a stroll along the Burnett River and support International Men's Day with the inaugural Walk and Talk event in support of men’s health.

Take a stroll along the Burnett River and support International Men's Day with the inaugural Walk and Talk event in support of men’s health.

Bundaberg Regional Council has teamed up with Peirson Services for Walk and Talk, which will celebrate International Men’s Day under the theme of Mates for Mates and Mental Health.

Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee said the aim of Walk and Talk was to encourage chatter amongst the men within the community.

She said there would also be a chance to stop along the way to engage in mindfulness exercises.

“It’s fantastic to work with the community towards reducing the stigma of mental illness and developing ways to inform and engage all community members of our region to support their mental wellbeing,” Cr McPhee said.

Personal connection to Walk and Talk

Cr McPhee said the Walk and Talk event could help change or save somebody’s life.

“A walk with someone is a great way to hold a conversation. It’s casual and informal and is much easier not having to maintain eye contact,” Cr McPhee said.

“A walk, particularly outdoors, is great for our mental health in so many ways.

“Getting your blood pumping produces endorphins and dopamine, both these hormones positively affect your mood. 

“Vitamin D from the sun boosts your immune function, getting back to nature is great for the soul and having a chat with a mate and connecting is vital for good mental health.

“Connecting is so important.”

Cr McPhee said from sharing her own personal experiences, she hoped she could help others who may be suffering.

“My own Dad struggled with mental health issues for years – he thought we would all be better off and happier without him, but this just isn’t true,” she said.

“The people in your life need you around.

“If you are struggling with thoughts like this, please reach out. There is so much help available.

“Call a mate, go for a coffee. Call a support service if it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know. 

“There are even text message services these days.

“Wherever you are at, there is help available.”

Peirson Services encourage men to take part

Peirson Services family and youth services Bundaberg regional manager Craig Lear said the team would be on hand to support those participating on the day.

“At Peirson Services almost 50 per cent of our staff are male and as helping professionals all of the guys at Peirson Services jumped at the opportunity to be a part of International Men’s Day,” Craig said.

“(To) take the opportunity to promote and role model simple but helpful strategies that guys can connect with and use in their own life.”

Craig said keeping good mental health was an important factor in living the best possible life.

“We see firsthand the importance of having good mental health support, so we can be the best versions of ourselves in all aspects of life,” he said.

“We see mental health support in the same way as you need to maintain your car to get the best performance out of it.

“You also need to be aware that the mind also needs us to pay attention and respond to it accordingly.

“As an ex-mechanic myself, I know that regular maintenance prevents unexpected breakdowns, and this is true for us as people as well.”

Walk and Talk men's health
Peirson Services family and youth services Bundaberg regional manager Craig Lear said the team were looking forward to the inaugural walk and talk event.

Craig said supporting discussions around mental health and providing advice around keeping a healthy mind was an important step in the right direction.

“Men still play a vital and influential role in our community, and the healthier we are they happier and healthier our families and community will be,” he said.

“It is very important to have events such as these to increase the awareness of a topic that is sometimes challenging to talk about, but vital to our wellbeing.

“We will be taking a stroll down by the beautiful Burnett River, stop for some discussions and make our way back to have a complimentary coffee or tea at River Cruz Café where we will continue chatting around our minds and how we keep them healthy.

“There will be two walks through the week, one for those early birds to get in before work and a later one for those not so early birds.”

Walk and Talk will leave from Riverside Parklands, near River Cruz Café on Quay Street, on Tuesday 15 November 7.30 am to 8.30 am and again on Thursday 17 November 8.30 am to 9.30 am.

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