Swans swoop on premiership
While footy finals fever grips the nation, at least one competition has already been decided. The Southern Peninsula Swans (a team hosted by Wellways within the Reclink competition) based out of Rosebud, Victoria, won their grand final last month.
The team of men and women, ranging in age from 16 to 60, and have different abilities, but boy can they kick the footy. It was tough first quarter and the Swans were losing 31 points to 8, but they fought back to turn the game around.
The final score was: Swans 9 goals 12 behinds = 66, to the Ballarat Bushrangers 9 goals 9 behinds = 63. Great going team.
One million steps for mental health
Avid walkers and passionate mental health advocates Kym Murphy, Cheryl McInnes and Tony Whyte undertook the Camino de Santiago de Compostela—the most famous pilgrimage in the world—to raise awareness and vital funds for mental health.
Their walk started in the French Pyrenees and stretched 884km all the way to the northwest of Spain. The trio, along with their team of five other enthusiastic walkers, raised more than $3,000 for Wellways and in doing so, helped break down stigma around mental illness and the impact it can have on people and families.
“What amazed me about our Camino experience,” says Cheryl, “is the number of people who would come up to us—having heard of us through other pilgrims—and congratulate us on what we were doing. This was usually followed by some disclosure about a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, or just someone in their circle of friends, who was living with a mental health challenge.”
Feeling inspired? There’s lots of ways you can get involved and support people living with mental health issues and disabilities. Nothing is too big, small or out there!
We’re moving in Tandem
Wellways is backing the Tandem advocacy campaign calling for improved mental health resources in the lead up to the Victorian election in November. The Supporting Relationships drive outlines key values of a “compassionate and effective mental health system” that Victorian people - and carers in particular - deserves. Tandem Carers is calling for support from all parties for safe, funded, inclusive and fair mental health services.
Wellways is encouraging our community to consider signing the petition to send a message about the importance of mental health in the minds of voters.
Raise your voices
The Moon’s A Balloon is a Wellways sponsored community choir open to all comers. Originally set up as a carers choir, in 2011 after a successful pilot project, the choir decided to open its doors to everyone with the view that mental health is everyone’s business. The choir is directed by Aria Award winning singer/songwriter Kavisha Mazzella.
“Singing in the choir is joyful and uplifting. We do fun relaxation exercises and games that set everyone at ease. It may sound simple but through learning to listen, we can all learn to sing. I love this choir. I drive down every week from Castlemaine to sing with them. Singing is one of the easiest natural healing methods in the world and we can uplift each other through singing together,” Kavisha says.
The Moon’s a Balloon choir rehearse every Tuesday from 7 -9 pm at the rear of Saint Mark’s Community Church, 100 Hodgkinson St, Clifton Hill. It is a gold coin entry and snacks are shared after singing. All are welcome. No experience necessary but just a desire to have a go.
Time to make new connections
Do you know any over 65s (over 50 if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) who are lonely? Wellways offers free social support from volunteers, as part of the Life in Community Program in Melbourne’s Yarra and Darebin areas. If you would like to get out into the community more, have someone visit regularly or call for a chat, contact Bronwen on 0447562247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the Age LinC program.
Do you like helping others?
Wellways needs volunteers for the Life in Community program. If you’ve had a mental health challenge, you could help others benefit from your experience. If you’re in Canberra, register your interest here LinCact@wellways.org or phone 6246 7122.
Be quick for grants
Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 are available to help community organisations buy equipment such as laptops, pay fuel costs, train volunteers and improve their fundraising.
For more information or to apply, visit the Australian Government’s GrantConnect website at www.grants.gov.au.
Applications close Tuesday 18 September.
The Voices Clinic, Swinburne University, Melbourne, is recruiting participants for the RECALL study evaluating whether a trauma-focused psychological therapy that aims to process memories of traumatic or difficult life events can help with voice hearing experiences. For information go to www.recallstudy.com or contact Rachel Brand (03) 9214 4840
Seeking family insights
Stigma about a family member having mental health issues can lead to negative thoughts, emotions and behaviours. A study from Victoria University invites siblings of people diagnosed with mental health issues to participate in research - to find out more about the impact of family stigma.
If you’re aged 18 years or older, you can complete an anonymous online survey and find more information.
World Mental Health Day, National, 10 October
42nd Annual IHF World Hospital Congress, Brisbane, 10–12 October
Youth Mental Wellbeing Conference, Melbourne, 14 October
Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium, Hobart, 15–17 October
NDIS & Mental Health Conference - Mental Health Policy, Practice & Reform: Getting It Right in A Time of Change, Melbourne, 31 October and 1 November
ACOSS conference: Rise to the Challenge, Sydney, 29-30 October
Towards Eliminating Restrictive Practices (TERP) Forum, Hobart, 7–8 November