The NSW Mental Health Commission hosted a number of events throughout October to celebrate Mental Health Month 2018.
Share a Cuppa morning tea
We began with morning tea at Customs House in Sydney on Wednesday 3 October. This event took up this year’s Mental Health Month theme, Share the Journey, which is about sharing stories with each other to reduce isolation and stigma around mental health issues.
The morning tea was hosted by NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey and NSW Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Tanya Davies MP. The event was open to people with lived experience of mental health issues; families, carers and kinship groups; and services, and was filled to capacity. To entertain guests, there was a string quartet performance by young musicians from Mad Music, a Sydney-based charity which recognises that music has the capacity to heal and connect people. Mad Music CEO Esther Pavel-Wood also spoke about her lived experience of mental health issues.
World Mental Health Day morning tea
On Wednesday 10 October, the Commission hosted a morning tea for those who neighbour our offices in Gladesville Hospital, Sydney. This was an opportunity to build friendships and Share the Journey with others working and volunteering in the mental health sector and beyond, including people with lived experience. Ms Lourey took the opportunity to acknowledge on World Mental Health Day all those in our community currently struggling with mental health issues, their families, carers and kinship groups, and reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to achieving better outcomes for them by working collaboratively to achieve our common goal.
The Commission invited organisations and community groups doing innovative work to prevent suicide to attend Parliament House on 17 October and showcase their work to Members of Parliament. A dozen organisations took part including Baylin’s Gift, ACON, Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group, Eclipse Support Group, Way Back Support Service and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health. Many of the organisations featured work specifically to support people at higher risk of suicide, including young people; Aboriginal people; people from regional and remote areas; and people who identify as LGBTIQ.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister Davies also launched the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2013 at the event, and announced the NSW Government will be investing almost $90 million into suicide prevention strategies in coming years.
Launch of Paving the Way Home
The Commission closed Mental Health Month 2018 with the launch of our latest report, Paving the Way Home - Lessons from My Choice: Pathways to Community Living Initiative on Wednesday 24 October. The report was launched by Ms Lourey and Minister Davies to around 50 attendees including clinicians, peer workers, advocates, people with a lived experience of mental health issues, and the committed staff and services involved in the Initiative. Read more about the report.
The NSW Mental Health Commission thanks all those who participated in Mental Health Month 2018. We appreciate the courage it took to come forward and Share the Journey with us, and the people around you.
Mental Health Month is organised each year by WayAhead. Learn more at: http://mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au/