Health fair aiming to 'lift the lid' on mental illness
MENTAL health and well- being are intrinsically linked and the aim of the Gladstone Mental Health and Wellbeing Fair is to "lift the lid” on both issues.
The inaugural event, to be held next Saturday at the Gladstone PCYC, will raise awareness of the services in the Gladstone community and help to reduce the stigma of mental illness.
The fair coincides with Queensland Mental Health Week (October 8-14) and Australian Rotary Health's Lift the Lid on Mental Illness initiative.
Attractions include more than 30 stalls, guest speakers, music, children's entertainment and free workshops including the Tanya Davies Empowering Happiness Team and John Whitten's safeTALK on suicide alertness.
Event organiser Brenda Smith said the focus of the fair was wellbeing, which had a "prevention is better than a cure” approach.
The wellbeing aspect targeted people at risk of falling through the cracks and developing a mental illness, Ms Smith said.
"It's those people that we really need to target to keep them out of a situation and let them know all you need to do is to talk to somebody - there's a future for you and a better outlook than what you think there will be,” she said.
The fair would also bring together the community for an informative, fun-filled family day.
Ms Smith encouraged people of all ages to attend but emphasised the need for younger people in the region to be informed about the help available.
"We're trying to get that stigma away from mental health and we're hoping a lot of people come that want to know what's going on,” she said.
"There's going to be entertainment and lots to do for the kids. It's going to be a good afternoon... this is our first expo, but it's a start.
"(The aim is to) get the word out there for people to keep themselves healthy and well before they think about suicide.
"It's mainly about getting people there to see what we have to offer to keep them 'well-being'.”
The goal of 2017 is to encourage more Queenslanders to value their mental health, while working together to reduce stigma.
Other activities on the day include Australian Rotary Health's annual Hat Day; a Qi Gong workshop to help reduce stress, tension and anxiety; yoga and other workshops.
Gladstone Rotary is encouraging stallholders and people to wear a hat or make one at the Rotaract hat-making stall with random prizes awarded.
Entry is a gold coin donation and all funds raised will be donated to Australia Rotary Health to support mental health research.
What: Mental Health & Wellbeing Fair
When: Saturday, October 7, 11am-4pm
Where: Gladstone PCYC, Yarroon St
Cost: Gold coin donation.
- If you need help please call Lifeline on 131114.