Anyone can develop a mental illness. In fact nearly half (45%) of Australia's population will experience a mental health challenge at some stage in their lives. Many people struggle alone because they fear being judged and stigmatised. To raise awareness of this issue, Anglicare's Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) Program hosted the 'Beating the Blues' walk around Prince Alfred Park on Friday, 9 October.
Now in its second year, 'Beating the Blues' aims to raise awareness of how common mental illness is in our community. The 'Recovery Tent' overflowed with people wanting to listen to the different speakers' journeys to overcome their mental health challenges, and the strategies they developed along the way. For some people exercise is an important strategy. So, after the walk, participants could join in Cardio Tennis, basketball, yoga or meditation. They then enjoyed a BBQ lunch provided by the City of Sydney Council and community partners.
Participants said they look forward to the event because they feel acknowledged and accepted. Many of us will know someone who has experienced or is experiencing mental health challenges. Most people with mental illness recover well and are able to lead fulfilling lives when they receive appropriate ongoing treatment and support. With greater understanding, we can all play a part in de-stigmatising mental illness, and supporting family or friends in their treatment and recovery.
Public Affairs Manager