Mental Health Week in Canberra, 9-15 October

Published on 10 October 2016

The week-long event is celebrated annually in Australia and in over 100 countries to raise awareness of mental illness, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and promote positive mental health and wellbeing in the community.

The statistics are confronting, showing that mental health issues touch many lives. Nearly half (45%) of the population will experience a mental health condition at some stage in their lives. Every year, one in five Australians (20%) experiences a mental illness.

In Canberra, Mental Health Week is coordinated by the Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT in partnership with ACT Health and a collaboration of community organisations. Here are some highlights of the week.

  • Join Paperworks Inc for a creative papermaking sessions in the morning sunshine on Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 and Friday 14 October. Paperworks was founded in 2009 to enable social inclusion through community art. Bringing people together through recycling, hand printing and papermaking, Paperworks works with a wide range of marginalised people in our community with a focus on engagement and feeling good.
  • Stories Are Us is being staged by MIEACT, Mental Illness Education ACT on the evening of Wednesday 12 October. The event will mix a screening of digital stories with stories told ‘live’ by some of its Volunteer Educators.
  • Yoga for Mothers is being held in the tranquil surroundings of the Senate Rose Garden. Organised by the Women’s Centre for Health Matters on the morning of Thursday 13 October, this is an opportunity to take a break, enjoy a fun physical activity and connect with other mothers.
  • Chronic diseases and their impact on wellbeing will be the focus of the ACT Asthma Symposium on Friday 14 October. This session features Pedro Diaz, CEO of the Mental Health Recovery Institute.
  • The Mental Health & Wellbeing Expo will be held in Civic’s City Walk on Friday 14 October between 11am and 2pm and will feature a range of stallholders, an art exhibition as well as free entertainment and sausage sizzle.

Many of these events have limited places and registration may be required. Visit the Mental Health Week website for up-to-date event information.

As the Mental Health Week program shows, we are fortunate in Canberra to have many fantastic people and organisations committed to supporting individuals with mental illness as well as their families and friends.

There are many ways you can help. Participate in the Mental Health Week activities and find out more about protecting your mental wellbeing as well as the great work these organisations are doing

There are also a range of ways to donate funds, such as directly through one-off donations, regular contributions such as workplace giving programs or by participating in fund-raising activities and events.

You can donate now through the Hands Across Canberra Giving Portal. Donations can be made to individual organisations, or to the Hands Across Canberra Foundation.

If this information has raised any concerns, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.