October is Mental Health Month, and this year’s theme is Share the Journey. The main message is to encourage individuals and communities to connect with others and recognise how important this is for our mental health and wellbeing.
“Good social connections are important for our health and survival – they help us with our journey to better mental health and our ability to cope with life’s struggles,” says Kim Capp, the CEO of South Coast Private Hospital and spokesperson for Mental Health Month in the Illawarra.
“They not only improve our overall wellbeing, they also build our resilience.”
Nearly half of all Australians (45 per cent) will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and those that don’t will most likely know someone that does.
Despite this, there’s still stigma and confusion around the topic. Ms Capp says that’s where learning and growing comes in.
“It’s important to make sure that as many people as possible know what mental illness looks like and what can be done to treat it – even if it’s not an issue for you right now, it might be one day, either for you or someone you know.
“The theme also encourages everyone to learn new and exciting things, as the very act of learning can have many positive outcomes on our mental health and wellbeing – no matter what you choose to learn about.”
For the first time, Mental Health Carers NSW and South Coast Private Hospital, will be manning an information booth and holding free activities at Stocklands Shellharbour on Thursday 11 October.
There will be a timetable of activities happening during the day including talks on keeping a healthy mind, how to improve sleep, and the importance of diet and exercise.
The Hospital will be holding its annual art exhibition throughout October, with opening night Tuesday 9 October at 5.30pm (details
“It will feature amazing works by patients celebrating art, collaboration and our diverse cultures,” says Ms Capp.
More information on other activities can be found at mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au