Maree Delaney (left) and Sharri Baker (right)
Maree Delaney (left) and Sharri Baker (right)

Use right tools to look after mental health

A FREE community event to foster community connections and offer people tips on caring for their mental health is being held on Saturday, October 5, from 9am-4pm at Emerald Town Hall.

Good Vibrations — CQ Mental Health and wellbeing Day — is expected to attract more than 150 people for the first Saturday of Mental Health Week.

Organiser Sharri Baker — a youth support worker at Anglicare and volunteer at PCYC — said this was the event’s second year and she hoped people would come away with “tangible tools” to use in their day-to-day lives and improve their mental wellbeing.

Maree Delaney, also from the PCYC, has been helping co-ordinate the event which will include interactive workshops on planting, indigenous art, relaxation, cooking demonstrations and yoga as well as guest speakers talking about exercise, nutrition, understanding emotions and the wheel of wellbeing.

There will also be ‘lived experience’ facilitators, lunch, morning tea, information stalls and wellness booths.

“Bringing people together is always great and we want to let people know the importance of everyday wellbeing to create a positive environment within the mental health space as well as to showcase what we’ve got in the community to help people,” Ms Baker said.

She said she hoped young people would gain a sense of importance about their wellbeing and be encouraged to look after their mental health as well as their physical health.

“This event is not necessarily only for people who are struggling with chronic illness — it’s for everyday people and to show people the importance of looking after themselves.

“It’s important for people to be able to live the best and most joyous life that they can. If you don’t look after your wellbeing, you’re not going to be as happy and able to enjoy your life to the fullest.

“It’s really important no matter where you’re at.”

Basic strategies for reducing stress and caring for yourself included regular movement, exercise, strong social connections and positive relationships.

“Mindfulness is also important — being mindful of the situations that you’re in, how you react to certain situations and being mindful of the people that you’re around. And finding enjoyment in the things that you do is really important.”

Ms Baker said older people often faced feeling a loss of connection and isolation, and she recommended maintaining connections with others through volunteering and community groups.

“And it’s really important for people to seek help when they need it and to keep their relationships positive so they feel comfortable enough to talk to their family and friends and to know the pathways to get help.”

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