The Mental Health Commission of NSW will offer free mental wellbeing checks on Thursday 20 October to passers-by in Sydney’s Martin Place. Participants will undertake a short mental wellbeing survey and have the opportunity to discuss their results with a qualified professional.
The initiative has been inspired by a successful program run in the City of Philadelphia, USA, which found people were willing to undertake the checks and benefited greatly from the experience.
“We all move up and down the mental wellbeing spectrum over the course of our lives, regardless of whether we have a mental illness or not,” NSW Mental Health Commissioner John Feneley said.
“By understanding this better, we can actively improve our mental wellbeing and with it our experience of life. People who come into the Martin Place marquee will leave with insights and tools that will make it easier for them to stay positive and resilient.”
“We’re very grateful to Northern Sydney, Sydney and South Eastern Sydney Local Health Districts and the Transcultural Mental Health Centre for lending us their expert staff for the day."
The Commission will also take its wellbeing message to the Parliament of NSW when it hosts a Wellbeing Showcase at 6 Macquarie Street on October 12. Over a lunchtime BBQ, Members of Parliament and their staff will have the opportunity to meet with the leaders of programs that support people recovering from mental illness or trauma to live well in the community, including:
- Cabramatta High School’s drumming programs for former refugees;
- Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW’s New Moves program, which provides physical exercise, healthy meals and peer support to people living with mental illness;
- Fairfield’s Spanish Speaking Choir, which connects members of Sydney’s multicultural communities.
“These programs are shining examples of how we can help people make positive choices, build relationships and cope with adversity, all of which reduce the risk of mental illness,” Mr Feneley said.
Mental Health Month runs from 1 – 31 October and is coordinated by WayAhead Mental Health Association NSW.