More than $100,000 in grants will help Queenslanders across the State celebrate Queensland Mental Health Week 2019 in places and ways as diverse as they themselves are.
From smoking ceremonies to tai chi and yoga, colour runs, planting, craft, singing and dancing, group meditation and old-fashioned yarning circles, Queenslanders from Cape York to Currumbin will ‘take time for mental health’ in October.
The Queensland Mental Health Commission-funded Mental Health Week grant program, supports local events that promote individual and community wellbeing and inclusiveness.
Queensland Mental Health Commission acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Leanne Geppert said mental health week had a positive message about taking time to look after ourselves — but there was a serious side too.
“The statistics show poor mental health is a reality for many in our community,” Dr Geppert said.
“One million Queenslanders — one in five — are likely to experience some form of mental illness every year, and many struggle through without getting help.
“As a society, we need to recognise that anyone can be susceptible to mental ill-health.
“We need to ensure that people know where to get help when they need it, and that we focus on those things that sustain and maintain our mental wellbeing as a buffer when life is challenging.
“Many of the Queensland Mental Health Week events link with local mental health services and focus on wellbeing education and mental health first-aid.”
Dr Geppert said mental health week community events emphasised inclusion and many opportunities to get involved throughout Queensland’s diverse community.
“A mentally healthy and strong community is one that values, looks after and includes all of its people, especially its most vulnerable members. This includes people living with persistent mental illness, and we value the many strengths and experiences they bring,” she said.
Queensland Alliance for Mental Health Acting Chief Executive Jacklyn Whybrow, whose organisation administers the grant program, said it was a tough job choosing grant recipients.
“Every year we are impressed by the number, quality and calibre of events,” she said. “This year there were 125 applications from every corner of the State.
“There has been particularly strong interest from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and great representation of rural and remote communities,” Ms Whybrow said.
She said she was delighted the Commission had been able to increase investment into the grant pool, reaching a record 45 community organisations.”
Queensland Mental Health Week is 5-13 October 2019, with a theme of take time for mental health.
For information on all community events state-wide, go to www.qldmentalhealthweek.org.au