Warwick makes mental health pledges
IT'S an issue often treated with stigma and silence in the community, but this week organisations in the Rose City are hoping to shine a light and raise awareness for mental health.
Mental Health Week events kicked off in Leslie Park yesterday, with a community barbecue bringing together the many different organisations offering support to Southern Downs people affected by mental health issues.
Among the community organisations involved with this week's events is the Lifeline Personal Helps and Mentors (Phams).
Terry Pinney from Lifeline Phams said mental health affected a large part of the community to some degree.
"There's a need to build good mental health and wellbeing for the whole community," he said.
Working alongside Mr Pinney is Julia Keogh from Partners in Recovery.
"The Southern Downs is very lucky to have a good network of support services through not-for-profit organisations," she said.
"The strength we have is in people working collaboratively."
There are a number of agencies on the Southern Downs offering their support to people with mental health issues, including Queensland Health, Partners in Recovery, Headspace, Lifeline Phams and the St Vincent De Paul Corner Stone program.
Mr Pinney said the local agencies were just a phone call away for those in need.
"There's a very strong inter-agency between Warwick and Stanthorpe," he said.
"There are a lot of informal links, as well as formal links through referrals."
As part of Mental Health Week, people are encouraged to make a pledge as part of a fun activity at different events.
"We're encouraging people to make a pledge, saying they will do something to help their mental health," Mr Pinney said.
"They put their pledge in an envelope, which will be posted back to them in 12 months time."
After placing her pledge in the box, Southern Downs Regional Council young leader Elizabeth Dennis said there was still a big stigma amongst young people about mental health issues.
"There is a lot of depression and anxiety in high school," she said.
"Most young people feel like they have to keep quiet about it."