Gladstone Mindcare co-ordinator Dani Appleby and businessman Bob McCosker worked tirelessly to deliver the not-for-profit facility for the Gladstone community. With the generosity and input from a number of local businesses, the doors opened within eight months of purchasing 147 Goondoon Street. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Mindcare co-ordinator Dani Appleby and businessman Bob McCosker worked tirelessly to deliver the not-for-profit facility for the Gladstone community. With the generosity and input from a number of local businesses, the doors opened within eight months of purchasing 147 Goondoon Street. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Gladstone gets new mental health hub

Gladstone Mindcare was born out of the toil and dedication of people from the region to benefit the entire community.

The not-for-profit mental health organisation opened on February 2, with the mantra of promoting improved mental health and wellbeing by empowering our community through information, education and connectivity.

Gladstone Mindcare co-ordinator Dani Appleby said prior to the COVID pandemic, more than 10,600 Gladstone region residents were identified as experiencing mental health issues.

“Gladstone Mindcare is a safe and inclusive community space for the people of the Gladstone region to obtain information and referral to support for mental health, alcohol and other drug concerns as well as social connection and health promotion activities,” Mrs Appleby said.

Gladstone Mindcare is located at 147 Goondoon Street. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Mindcare is located at 147 Goondoon Street. Picture: Rodney Stevens

“It is also a co-working space for service providers who provide mental health and wellbeing support to people and who collectively work to improve the wellbeing of the Gladstone community.”

Co-working tenant Lifestyle Therapies and Training Solutions also offer the services of two speech pathologists, two occupational therapists and a psychologist, plus paediatrician Dr Tommy Chan visits the premises regularly.

Anyone is welcome to visit Gladstone Mindcare and enjoy a coffee and food at Deja Brew.

A lot of hard work by a variety of people and businesses went into establishing Gladstone Mindcare.

After the Rio Tinto Here for Health Committee identified mental health, alcohol and other drugs as a significant problem in the Gladstone region, Dani Appleby spent 12 months identifying and researching the city’s services and their utilisation.

A significant result of her research and reporting was the establishment of Collective Action Social Impact Limited CASI, in October 2019.

Clients doing a Mental Health First Aid Training course at Gladstone Mindcare. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Clients doing a Mental Health First Aid Training course at Gladstone Mindcare. Picture: Rodney Stevens

When prominent Gladstone businessman Bob McCosker met Mrs Appleby in December 2019, the Gladstone Mindcare dream gained momentum.

The search for a location to house a service dedicated to the mental health of Gladstone began, resulting in the purchase of the former Gladstone Area Water Board building, on Goondoon Street, in June 2020, by McCosker Group.

Mr McCosker said the work of all of the company’s employees contributed to acquiring the premises to house Gladstone Mindcare.

“It is their positive work that has enable me to be able to deliver the facility for the community,” he said.

For the next seven months, Mrs Appleby said it was full steam ahead on renovating the interior to accommodate disabled access and fit out the building as Gladstone Mindcare’s home.

Involved in the transformation were Gladstone Signage, Dreamtilt, City Power and Air, GIW Designs, Streetwise Plumbing, Third Generation Painting, Sparkmans Cabinets and Joinery, Santos GLNG and UGL, all contributing their expertise for minimal cost.

Gladstone Mindcare is located at 147 Goondoon Street. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Gladstone Mindcare is located at 147 Goondoon Street. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Mr McCosker said the generosity and contribution of all businesses involved was enormous.

“We were in the middle of Covid and all these businesses got behind us in the knowledge what they were doing would benefit the community,” he said.

“Paul Kelly at Gladstone Legal has played an instrumental part in Gladstone Mindcare by providing pro-bono legal services.”

In the blink of an eye, more than six weeks have passed since the opening and Mrs Appleby said Gladstone Mindcare had helped many people battling mental health issues.

“The opening was very successful and we saw a number of people with acute mental health issues come in to access help,” Mrs Appleby, the Gladstone Mindcare co-ordinator said.

“The idea was to normalise the space, so anyone could come in to get support, or just get a coffee from Deja Brew.”

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