Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Helping Our Community Become Mentally Fit; A Mental Wellbeing Program


I'm very proud to live in a society whose minds are being opened to the seriousness of mental health.

Once upon a time if you were suspected of suffering from a mental illness you were locked away in an institution, isolated from other people as if your disease was contagious.

beyondblue. Depression, Anxiety - logo
Now, thank goodness, times have changed and organisation's like Beyond Blue have opened up an arena for discussion and support for those who seek solace and clarification amongst the confusion of their thoughts and feelings.

With society becoming more aware of the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, the focus amongst campaigns has now changed to preventative measures to try and keep people mentally fit.

So here I am today, proud to announce a very exciting project that I have been working on with a fantastic group of inspirational women called the Eyre Peninsula Mental Wellbeing Program which is our way of contributing to a mentally fit community.

What, who, why, when, how I hear you say?

Well with the increased knowledge about mental health, we wanted to create a community forum where people could feel confident to seek help, ask questions, receive clarification and understand what it means to be mentally fit.

We know that many people are left asking;

What does it mean to be mentally fit?

 How can I look after my mental wellbeing?

 How do I p
revent mental illness?

 What is depression and anxiety?

 Where can I go for help if I'm struggling with my mental health on the Eyre Peninsula?

And we also know that one way or another, we are all affected by mental illness....

So what we can do about this?


We can create a Mental Wellbeing Program.

This program has been created by local people for local people to help answer these questions and to empower the local community with the understanding and tools to help create a mentally fit Eyre Peninsula.

 Often when we think of mental health we instantly think about mental illness, but this program aims to flip mental health on it's head and to instead, look at ways that we can keep mentally fit to help both ourselves and others to prevent the onset of depression and anxiety.

The Eyre Peninsula Mental Wellbeing Program aims to create awareness about what it means to be mentally fit, why it's important and to provide practical ways of looking after our mental wellbeing.

The program will also highlight local services and resources that are available to people in the community to reach out to for support if they happen to find themselves or others struggling with mental illnesses and aims to give them the confidence to access these if need be.


Fortunately for our committee, we have had so much support from our local community, including very generous donations from our local Bendigo Banks. This money, as well as the money raised through raffles, auctions and a gala dinner, will fund qualified counsellors from West Coast Youth and Community Support, to be able to provide information sessions in 3 local communities; Cummins, Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln.

The program will kick off with community forums run in these 3 towns in late October (straight after our "Life's a Circus Gala Dinner") so that we can hear the voices of the local people to see what information they'd like to learn about through the program.

Information sessions will then follow in early 2015, in both schools and the wider community. These sessions will be free, and are a great way to empower the community with the knowledge, understanding and tools to look after one another.


There are so many reasons as to why I believe that a Mental Wellbeing Program will be beneficial for my local community. While we are so lucky in Australia to have a Government who provides community support and funding, often, through lack of resources, they can only fund services that cater towards helping people who are mentally unwell. We were therefore determined to provide a program that looks more at promotion, prevention and early intervention of mental health to maintain a community with a healthy mental well being.

Below is a list of 10 benefits and aims of the program;

1. To try and reduce the number of deaths related to depression (country men are most at risk of suicide according to statistics).

2. To encourage people to talk and think about mental health.

3. To motivate people to look after their mental wellbeing.

4. To highlight local services that are already doing a wonderful job in our communities but can often remain hidden unless you know where to look for help.

5. To provide basic counselling and strategies for people who are already suffering (there is a 10-11 week wait to see a psychologist on the Eyre Peninsula).

6. To bring a local community together towards a united goal; to keep mentally fit.

7. To create connections and networks for carers, sufferers and the general public with local services and each other.

8. To bring the services to the people (often many of the organisations involved in mental health awareness are NGO's or Government funded, who simply do not have the resources and money to be able to deliver extensive programs to country areas).

9. To help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health so that people in the community feel comfortable seeking help and speaking openly about how they feel.

10. To create a mentally fit and aware Eyre Peninsula.

I am so excited about this project and can see the real potential that it has to not only help save lives but also to improve the quality of life of people living on the Eyre Peninsula.

Watch this space and 'like' our facebook page for more information.

Have you ever been along to community forums for mental health?

Why do you think it's important that we speak about mental health more openly?

What do you think the benefits of a mental wellbeing program would do for your local community?

Look after yourselves and those around you,


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