This week is Mental Health Week.
There are so many weeks and days to mark health, charity and other causes. And while there’s no doubt these are all valid, mental illness is something that affects so many people in communities across Australia.
Headspace says that one in four young people have experienced mental illness in the past year, while figures from the Black Dog Institute suggest that 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
I believe the stigma around mental illness is changing, people are starting to accept it as a real illness that needs to be, and can be, treated. But the stigma is still there. Mental Health Week is about breaking down that stigma, helping the community understand mental health, and sharing information about how and where to get help.
Well done to the Swan Hill Mental Health Week Committee for putting on such a full and diverse calendar of events. If you haven’t been part of it, there’s still time.
The community walk through the Swan Hill CBD is on today, followed by the mental health, wellbeing and self-care expo from 11am until 2pm at the Town Hall. Tomorrow the Mallee Cruisers will host a car rally and outdoor movies at Riverside Park. And there is a Headspace art contest on display at the Swan Hill Region Information Centre until Monday.
In Robinvale, the Carpe Diem play was on at the Euston Club Resort on Monday night. It focused on an Aussie farming men dealing with issues of health, grief, loss and depression.
While Mental Health Week is coming to a close, you can continue to learn more and help to break down the stigma throughout the year.
For example, Robinvale District Health Service runs Mental Health First Aid training for community members, with the next round starting 24 October.
Manang celebrates 100 years
There will plenty of reminiscing and reunions this weekend at Manangatang as the Mallee town celebrates 100 years of racing at Manangatang.
A celebration lunch, memorabilia display, music from the Ploughboys and Jeff ‘Gibbo’ Gibson, an Off The Bench broadcast and footraces for footballers and netballers will all mark the anniversary, along with the activities you would usually expect to find at Manang races.
The club has teamed up with State Government, Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria to refurbish the Big Shed, put on free courtesy buses and install a wonderful new bar, which has created great interest this year. The club has been overwhelmed with demand for mini marquees too, so expect a bigger than normal crowd at Manang tomorrow . Well done to all involved.
October the month for events
October is the month for events in our region – and so it should be with the beautiful weather we usually experience. As well as Manang Races, this weekend is the Swan Hill Country Music Walk-Ups festival at Nyah Recreation Reserve.
On the weekend of 20-22 October will be the Graham exhibition launch at the Gallery, the Cruze for Awareness and the Lions Club Show and Shine, plus an open day at Tyntynder Homestead.
Finally the last weekend in October will be Market Day, Youth Arts Festival and junior basketball tournament. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with lots of community events and markets taking place too. Check out visitswanhilll.com.au for the details.
Mayor and CEO visit to Robinvale
Council’s Chief Executive Officer John McLinden and I will be in Robinvale on 26 October to meet with community members on a one-on-one basis.
If you would like to talk to us about your ideas or concerns, please contact Sharon Lindsay at Council on 5036 2333 to make an appointment.