Above, two Lennox Legends Trent Chapman and Steve Carrigg
Wednesday October 10 is World Mental Health Day. (10.10)
To recognise and celebrate this event locally, a motivated group of locals called the Lennox Legends have come together and organised an event to be held at our own Lennox Head Community Centre on October 10 between 4.30 and 7.30pm.
Over recent years, the discussion about mental health and mental illness has emerged from the shadows but we still have a tremendous amount of work to do. According to the national mental health survey, about one in five of us will experience a mental illness in any 12-month period of time and nearly half of us would meet the criteria to be diagnosed with a mental illness over the course of our lifetime. These figures alone are reason enough for more of us to be having the conversation about mental ill health.
The outcomes for most people with a mental illness are very good when treatment and support is accessed, but for some people affected by mental illness it can be tragic. On average, about 8 people die by suicide every day in Australia. 6 of those will be men. Even though men are over-represented in those tragedies, it’s not just a male only problem with many more women than men attempting suicide.
Stigma is still a barrier for people seeking help for mental ill health and this event is another step in reducing that stigma, improving the mental health literacy of our community and ensuring people who need help feel comfortable in reaching out and receiving that help when required.
Our local event on October 10 will not just be about mental illness. It will also be about mental health. So what keeps us mentally healthy? Interestingly enough, it is the same sorts of pillars that keep us physically healthy. A good diet, regular exercise, healthy sleeping habits, maintaining our existing social connections and creating new ones. Joining a group of like-minded people. Becoming a volunteer. Random acts of kindness. Helping out those less fortunate. It’s not just good for them, it’s also good for our own mental health.
On the 10th there will be a DJ to entertain, representatives from Lifeline, headspace, StandBy Support After Suicide, New Access, NSW Health and the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP). RAMHP will be launching their new ‘Glove Box Guide’ for mental health and everyone will receive a copy as well as many other resources.
Trent Chapman from Movement Functional Fitness will facilitate a ‘Mood Booster’ 15 minute exercise and along with Steve Carrigg from RAMHP, will deliver a shortened presentation on what Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is. Trent and Steve are both accredited MHFA instructors and between them have delivered over 60 MHFA courses and trained over 1200 people. MHFA is a wonderful course developed in Australia and has now spread to over 25 countries worldwide. In total over 700 000 Australians have now undertaken the course. People interested in completing the 2 Day MHFA course can come along and find out more on 10.10!
There will be food and a lucky door prize as well.
Come along, connect with your community and do something positive for your own mental health and the health of those around you.
People requiring immediate support can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.