Focus on fun and wellness as we all join together to take time for mental health
Whether it’s a bit of art and craft or hitting the water for a paddle, community members are being encouraged to join in Mental Health Week activities across Wide Bay and to “take time for mental health”.
Queensland Mental Health Week takes place from October 10–18, with many activities and events across the region being hosted by the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service and its partner organisations.
The theme for the week is “Take time – for mental health”.
Among the highlights of the week will be the painting of a mural at The Village community mental health centre in Hervey Bay, while community members in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay will have the opportunity to take part in free “come and try” dragon boating days.
WBHHS Executive Director of Mental Health and Specialised Services Robyn Bradley said Mental Health Week was an opportunity to take time to understand the importance of mental health in our everyday lives.
“We should all be taking the time to check in with ourselves and looking for simple and frequent ways to boost our mental wellbeing – regardless of whether we have a lived mental health experience or not,” Ms Bradley said.
“Mental Health Week is also an opportunity to look at how we can break down the stigma associated with mental illness and reach out to people we know who need support.
“To help drive this further, WBHHS will be joining the Shatter the Stigma campaign to encourage everyone from members of the public to our own staff to think about what we can each do to reduce stigma related to mental health.
“Locally we’re also partnering 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.
“We’re also really pleased to be painting a mural at The Village in Hervey Bay. It’s being painted by a local artist and will help turn this clinical space into a more welcoming environment for people visiting our community mental health team.”
There will also be a number of educational and promotional events around Wide Bay raising awareness of the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing.
“Our Bundaberg Mental Health Unit will host a question and answer session with a panel of experts, while the Maryborough team will be at the Thursday markets wearing their Shatter The Stigma shirts and will be keen to start a conversation,” Ms Bradley said.
“Across our various mental health sites, our teams will also be hosting rock and canvas painting, morning teas, daily activities, fun dress days and more for our consumers and visitors.
“There will even be a therapy dog visit to the Bundaberg Community Care Units and a colouring-in activity for people visiting the waiting area of the Maryborough Correctional Centre.”
WBHHS is also encouraging people to take time for mental health by following six simple actions, which are recommended by the Queensland Government’s Dear Mind initiative and based on the internationally recognised Wheel of Wellbeing.
These six actions are:
- Take time to get healthy— being active and eating well is good for your mind as well as your body
- Take time to keep learning — learning new things can make you more confident as well as being fun
- Take time to show kindness — practising small acts of kindness, volunteering time, or simply helping a friend in need can help you feel more satisfied with life
- Take time to connect — spending time with other people is important to everyone’s mental wellbeing
- Take time to take notice — paying more attention to the present and the world around you helps relieve stress and enjoy the moment
- Take time to 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 or the Queensland Government’s Dear Mind website.
Where and when you can join in the dragon boating
Fraser Coast - Hervey Bay Boat Club on Sunday, October 11 at 7.30am (for an 8am start).
Bundaberg - Lions Park boat ramp, North Bundaberg, on Saturday, October 17 at 7.30am (for an 8am start)