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Mental health in focus at free expo

Ipswich residents have access to free information on programs and services in a safe and relaxed environment during Queensland Mental Health Week, at the 2021 Ipswich Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo.

Twenty-six stallholders will be at the Riverlink Shopping Centre on Thursday 14 October, thanks to support from West Moreton Health, Council and a number of local businesses and community organisations.

Stalls will be open in the East Mall from 8.30am to 2.30pm.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chair Andrew Fechner said residents taking care of their mental wellbeing was more important than ever.

“So many in our community have faced difficult and unexpected challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic which have impacted their mental health,” Cr Fechner said.

“Recognising this, the theme of Queensland Mental Health Week 2021 encourages us all to ‘Take Time—for Mental Health.’

“During the week, the Ipswich Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo is a fabulous opportunity to learn more about mental health support services in a safe and encouraging space provided by West Moreton Mental Health.”

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Deputy Chair Kate Kunzelmann said council is committed to the wellbeing of the Ipswich community.

“Ipswich City Council is committed to supporting the wellbeing of our community, and in 2020 we launched the Ipswich Together initiative which aimed to connect the Ipswich community during difficult times, by providing residents with the information they need to stay connected, and also to support isolated people,” Cr Kunzelmann said.

“Ipswich Together promoted being kind, looking after your wellbeing and supporting local business in an effort to reduce the emotional stress of economic insecurity throughout the pandemic.

“We know however, that mental health and wellbeing support must extend beyond crisis times and a pandemic.

“With one in every five Queenslanders experiencing mental illness in their lifetime, I urge residents to attend the expo if they are feeling isolated, need support, or simply want to learn more and have open and safe conversations about mental health with professionals in the field.”

Where to go when more help is needed

If you are experiencing mental health challenges, the biggest priority may be getting some help.

Having a chat with your doctor is a good first step towards getting the right support and treatment.

To speak to someone about navigating mental health services in your area call the Health Service Navigator on 1300 012 710.

Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au) has a list of phone and web chat contacts you can use to get immediate support.

For 24/7 counselling and support, you can contact these organisations:

  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
  • Alcohol & Drug Info Services (ADIS) 1800 177 833
  • 1300 MH CALL 1300 64 2255

These numbers are either free or the cost of a local call.

Read also:

>>> Council-first interactive program revealed for Sustainable Ipswich Month

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