Good mental health on agenda in Rockhampton
Lisa Curry knows the ups and downs of life, love and loss. Now the iconic Aussie has got behind a new initiative designed to help support and improve the mental wellness of Rockhampton people.
The national sporting legend, author, media presenter, and health and fitness ambassador was a special guest speaker at the Rockhampton Mental Health Expo on August 19.
The event at Rockhampton Leagues Club brought together 40 mental health advocacy and support organisations from the Capricornia region, dedicated to improving people’s mental wellbeing and helping to reduce incidents of self-harm and suicide.
“We’ve got to take the stigma away from mental health, talk openly about it, have the conversations, find the triggers, and find solutions and resources for people who are struggling every day,” Lisa said.
“The people of Rockhampton should feel very happy that there’s a lot of resources and groups around that they can get help from.”
The Rockhampton Mental Health Expo is an initiative of the Central Queensland Co-Design Collective, established to educate the community about the importance of good mental health. The collective was devised by Carinity Education Rockhampton, partnering with local mental health advocacy groups and support services.
“In my role I witness the impacts of mental health on our students, their families and carers and my staff daily. Mental health is not something anyone should have to face alone, ever,” said Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal, Lyn Harland.
“As Mother Teresa teaches us, ‘It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.’ Our young people, their families and wider community are all interconnected. The Rockhampton Mental Health Expo brought together our community for a purpose that affects each and every one of us in one way or another.”
The rate of people who took their life in the Capricornia region between 2015 and 2019 was 60% higher than the rate of suicide across all of Australia.#
Debra Fitzgerald is the Regional Coordinator of Central Queensland Co-Design Collective partner and mental health and suicide prevention charity, selectability. She said the Rockhampton Mental Health Expo gave like-minded organisations the chance to network and “develop partnerships to benefit consumers, carers and the community”.
“Our goal is to increase community awareness of the existing services and resources that are available to support mental health recovery and build capacity within the Rockhampton region,” Debra said.
“We aim to reduce the stigma many people with mental health challenges experience and promote engagement in clinical services and professional supports.”
Other guest speakers at the Rockhampton Mental Health Expo included Jadiael Tekii, founder of men’s wellbeing charity Project Blokes; Well Man founder and mental health advocate, Grant Westthorp; and youth psychologist, Christian Miesch.
The event is one of a series of Central Queensland Co-Design Collective initiatives funded by a $66,000 grant from the Queensland Government’s Tackling Regional Adversity Through Integrated Care program.
Its other wellness initiatives have included training for mental health advocates, wellness programs for youth, community engagement projects, and local research and surveys about mental health.
# Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.