Thursday, 29 September 2016

Mental Health Week Launch

As a part of Mental Health Week and the panel that I've been asked to be on for the Mental Health Week forum, I was asked if I was available to be a part of the media launch as well. 
I was the only panel member that was available to go along, so I was very nervous about having to speak in front of everyone including the Tasmanian Minister for Health - Michael Ferguson.
Michael actually came to Aaron's funeral (I am still surprised as to who and how many people came to his funeral - I guess when you're a very loved school teacher that politicians and people from the community want to attend) and I've seen him a few times at different events since then including the Presentation Assemblies at Kings Meadows High School at the end of each year.

I was asked to share why I agreed to be involved as a member of the panel, so I shared a very short version of our story and then talked about how I didn't really understand depression and anxiety until I experienced it myself.  I also said that people often don't know how to deal with someone who is grieving or going through mental health issues, so I hope that by sharing my experiences that it may help others to either deal with what they are going through themselves, or it may help people to know how to help someone else.
After I spoke it was lovely to have people come up to say hi. This lady has an adult son who has Downs Syndrome.

After we spoke they had different organisations there getting everyone involved in different things that can help your mental health, including making a promise about what you will be doing to help your own mental health.

They had some instructors from the gym there so we jumped in and did a little workout.  It wasn't a good idea in a dress, so I didn't last long :)

I was interviewed by our local newspaper - The Examiner and then we were asked if they could take a photo of us to put in the paper.   The photo and article about Mental Health Week is here.

These are the people working behind the scenes to organise the Mental Health Forum including our friend Alison who has been running the Facebook page and taking portraits of people who are sharing their mental health story on the page.   Kobe's photo went up on the page today. He was so cute with what he wanted to say. You can read it here.
We couldn't resist getting a selfie with Michael before we left.

It's only a week until the free forum is on (Monday 10th October at the Tramsheds in Launceston at 7pm).  It should be really interesting as the other panel members have a lot of experience and knowledge to share.   Dr Mark Cross is running other events in town on before the forum and is also doing a book signing at the ABC shop.

This week we were told that there is now another panel member - Lisa Alexander who is the head coach of the Australian netball team.   Come along if you are in northern Tassie - it should be a really good night.
Thanks for some of these photos Alison.

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