Did you know that Mental Health Week officially kicked off on October 7?
Throughout the state of Queensland, schools, workplaces, sports clubs, community centres and many other organisations are observing the occasion by holding loads of events, from mindfulness workshops to social get-togethers to group fitness sessions.
The big occasion on the calendar is World Mental Health Day on October 10. First celebrated in 1992, the day is now recognised in more than 150 countries.
What happens on World Mental Health Day?
World Mental Health Day is foremost about awareness. It aims to grow awareness of mental health in different ways, such as by promoting activities that help improve your mental health and providing information about related services. It also encourages people to seek help and find out more about self-care and wellbeing.
Importantly, World Mental Health Day strives to reduce the stigma and prejudice surrounding mental illness.
Each year the occasion is accompanied by a theme. These have historically been varied and previously covered topics as diverse as depression, living with schizophrenia, mental illness and suicide, dignity and mental health, and psychological first aid. Mental health in the workplace was the theme in 2017 while this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is “young people and mental health in a changing world”.
Ideas for World Mental Health Day
One of the most popular ways to celebrate World Mental Health Day and World Mental Health Week is to hold an event. If you’re keen to participate in or even run your own, the official Queensland Mental Health Week website has some great ideas for how to get involved.
Simple ideas include:
- Organising a barbeque, morning tea, breakfast, lunch or tea-break.
- Family days in the park involving dogs, bikes, picnics or just a walk.
- A group exercise of some kind. It might be mindfulness, yoga or fitness.
- Inviting a guest speaker.
- A display in your organisation’s building that has help-seeking material. Did you know that NQ Connect allows you to order cards, flyers and posters, which will be delivered to you at no charge?
Of course, you can still be part of world Mental Health Day — and you can do it without organising a full event. Here are some things that anyone can do:
- Let your kids know that it is OK for them to talk about how they’re feeling.
- Check in with workmates to make sure they are alright.
- Talk to your mates and let them know that you’re there to listen.
- If you’re not feeling right, tell your family and close friends that you need support.
- Be more open about your experiences to a spouse or partner.
What’s on in northern Queensland for Mental Health Week?
Want to know about Mental Health Week events in northern Queensland? Have a look at what’s on in your area.
- Mental Health Week events in Cairns: here
- Mental Health Week events in Mackay: here
- Mental Health Week events in Townsville: here
- Mental Health Week events in Bowen: here
- Mental Health Week events in Cooktown: here
- Or see all events in Queensland: here
Need help? You can find support services in northern Queensland or complete a self-administered K10 test for depression and anxiety. You can also join the online mental health forum to talk with like-minded people.