October is Mental Health Month – an opportunity for workplaces and community groups in the Greater Shepparton region to raise awareness of the importance of social and emotional wellbeing.
Events and activities across Victoria are aimed at opening up conversations about anxiety and depression to help reduce stigma and empower people to seek help, for themselves or others.
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp MP is encouraging the community to start talking; whether it’s organising an event or activity, big or small – or simply initiating a conversation or sharing a message of hope with someone who is struggling.
Events to be held locally in Shepparton region this October includes;
- The WorkSafe and Goulburn Valley Safety Group’s Health & Safety Month Breakfast event on Thursday 17 October at 7am, with special guest Wayne Schwass, former AFL star and passionate advocate for mental health awareness.
Having battled silently with his own mental health for much of his sporting career, Wayne is now dedicated to advocacy of mental health awareness, emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention through his foundation, Puka Up. Tickets are $10, for bookings, visit:
- WorkSafe will also be holding a Preventing Mental Injury in the Workplace panel discussion event on Thursday 17 October at 9:30am – to inform and guide attendees on why these factors are so influential and ways to identify and address them to effectively manage risk to injury in the workplace.
- Wellway’s Mental Health Month Expo – Shepparton Sports Stadium – from 12pm
The Expo will feature interactive and informative stalls from local service providers, a local Aboriginal didgeridoo player, guest speakers, sensory and relaxation activities, face painting, BBQ, art competition (judged by those who attend), carer speciﬁc activities, live performance by the award winning Listening To Voices theatre group and much more.
While community awareness of anxiety and depression has grown over the past years, stigma associated with mental illness remains high and as a result, many people are too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help and don’t get the treatment they need.
Twenty per cent of all Victorians – almost 1.3 million people – will this year experience mental illness. Over a lifetime, one in two Victorians will experience mental illness.
10 October observes World Mental Health Day focussing on suicide prevention, Health and Safety Month to encourage all workplaces to make psychological safety at work just as important as physical safety, and Mental Health Week from which runs from 5-11 October.
The Andrews Labor Government has built on last year’s record mental health investment, allocating a further $172.8 million to ensure Victorians get better treatment and care, closer to home.
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is investigating ways to effectively prevent and respond to mental illness, to promote timely access to high-quality and safe treatment and create strong links between mental health and other services. An interim report is expected next month.
The Andrews Government is also investing in education and TAFE – to train skilled people to work in the Community Services, Drug & Alchohol, Social and Mental Health Work– for the now and in the future.
For more information on Free TAFE for Priority Courses visit www.freetafe.vic.gov.au or www.gotafe.vic.edu.au/study/health-community/community-services
If you, or someone you know is in crisis or needs support; call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
Quote attributable to Mark Gepp MP, Member for Northern Victoria
“Mental Health Month builds on our collective efforts here in Shepparton to create a community where stigma and discrimination are no longer a barrier to people seeking support.”
“It’s important for everyone to be bold and create a safe environment for people to talk openly and honestly – without fear or judgement – about mental health, emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention.”
“From mental health wellbeing programs and support in schools; Free TAFE for Priority Courses to address skills shortages in the Community sector; to establishing the landmark Royal Commission into Mental Health and commitment in implementing the recommendations, plus many more initiatives — the Andrews Government is committed to fixing the mental health system in a sensible and holistic approach.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health, Hon. Martin Foley
“This is a reminder to reach out to someone who might be feeling a bit lost. Or if you are struggling with your mental health, just know there is help out there and find a way to connect with others.”