Queensland’s Mental Health Commissioner has applauded the work of community volunteers who are building on social connections to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Central Queenslanders.
Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said the Central Highlands Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs project had led to the establishment of the new CQ Wellbeing Hubs Inc, launched today (November 6).
The new body will continue the work of local community groups in four regions, promoting individual and community health and wellbeing.
Mr Frkovic said the Central Highlands Hub project began in 2016, with CentacareCQ initially funded to run it for four years as part of a Queensland Mental Health Commission initiative.
The Central Highlands Hub co-ordinated local community wellbeing action groups in the Central Highlands, Banana and Isaac Shires and introduced the Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW), a framework that engages people around the subject of living happier lives to satellite communities.
“The Central Highlands Hub and its volunteers across the region have done a great job of co-ordinating local groups and service providers, raising awareness about how everyone can work together to support better mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Frkovic said.
“I’m delighted that this community development project will continue as CQ Wellbeing Hubs Inc, working at the grass roots level in Central Queensland to build well-connected, resilient and vibrant communities.
“Today’s launch is a great outcome and I thank everyone for their commitment to the community,” Mr Frkovic said.
CQ Wellbeing Hubs Inc Chair and Blackwater resident Sallyann Hansen said the organisation’s approach was about community helping community.
“It is a place-based approach that promotes all the good things about mental health and wellbeing as more of a preventative approach, as opposed to working with the population with a pre-existing mental illness,” Ms Hansen said.
“In those times when you’re under stress, when you’re going through grief or anything, you actually need the right tools, you need connection and gratitude.”
CentacareCQ General Manager Planning and Development Carmel Marshall said CQ Wellbeing Hubs Inc members were looking for ways to continue to support their communities to get more of what creates happiness and wellbeing.
“Launching the CQ Wellbeing Hubs Inc is a huge step in that direction,” she said.
The Queensland Mental Health Commission commissioned an evaluation by Griffith University in 2018, which showed sites such as the Central Highlands Hubs had used the strengths of the community to successfully promote mental health and wellbeing.