Community groups across Queensland will share a $95,000 grants pool to support Queensland Mental Health Week (QMHW) from 5 to 13 October.
The grant program offers grants of up to $2500 to support events that promote community mental health and wellbeing, increase understanding of mental illness, address stigma, and foster inclusion for people living with mental illness, their families and carers.
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic said mental health and wellbeing was relevant to every Queenslander.
“We all want to live happy, satisfying and meaningful lives that are mentally, emotionally and socially positive and healthy,” he said.
“Mental health and wellbeing is the foundation for flourishing individuals, families and communities, but it is not an automatic state – it’s something we all have to work at to maintain.”
Mr Frkovic said one in every four Queenslanders was likely to experience a mental illness this year.
“This makes increased community awareness and understanding more important than ever.
“Mental illness is a whole-of-community issue that has no social barriers—it can affect any one of us, at any time,” he said.
Depression and anxiety are the two most common mental illnesses, and psychological problems are the most common ailment treated by GPs.
“It’s only a very small proportion of Queenslanders – about three per cent – who will experience a severe mental illness, and most people who experience one live full and satisfying lives as members of the community,” Mr Frkovic said.
“Queensland Mental Health Week helps break down stereotypes around mental illness and helps people recognise stigma when it occurs.”
The grant program is being managed on behalf of the Queensland Mental Health Commission by the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health (QAMH).
Alliance Acting Chief Executive Jacklyn Whybrow said Mental Health Week events had a serious education and awareness purpose but were also an expression of diverse and inclusive communities.
“The measure of a community is how well it reaches out to and includes its most vulnerable members.
“It’s important we embrace diversity and accept people with different experiences, backgrounds and cultures into community life – we are so much the richer and stronger for it.
“Queensland Mental Health Week events help bring people together and contribute to building mentally healthier environments for individuals, families and the whole community,” Ms Whybrow said.
The theme for Queensland Mental Health Week 2019 is take time for mental health.
Applications for QMHW grants close on Monday 8 July. To apply for a Queensland Mental Health Week grant, go to www.qldmentalhealthweek.org.au