Fun approach

People work up a sweat in Leederville to raise awareness of mental health issues (above), and Kaye Holmes, Anne Hearen, Susan Klauz, Carol Gray and Val Baldwin have been busy making decorations for the “blue tree” in Melville (left).

A SERIES of fun events will be held in Perth as part of Mental Health Week (October 10 – 17).

Kicking things off next Saturday on world mental health day is Stand Up! For Comedy at the Perth State Theatre.

Now in its sixth year, the event features a stellar line-up of some of Australia’s funniest comics including MC Matt Dyktynski, Brodie Snook, Alissia Marsh and Peter Rowsthorn.

A percentage of ticket sales go to the WA Association for Mental Health, which provides invaluable support to mental health sufferers.

On October 16 Leederville locals will work up a sweat at the Jungle body Mega Fitness Class; a one hour conga dance workout with live DJ at Leederville Town Hall.

Participants will raise awareness of mental health issues while enjoying a fun workout that fuses boxing, cardio, dance and pilates, and is suitable for all ages.

South of the river, Melville is hoping to kick-start conversations about mental health with its Blue Tree Project, which encourages locals to create their own version of a blue tree – whether a painted stick in a pot, a craft project or artwork – and share a photo of it at melvillecity.com.au/bluetree.

In April the city painted a tree blue on Honour Avenue in Point Walter.

“The blue trees are a visual reminder to check in with a loved one, a friend that’s having a rough time, or a mate having a blue day,” says Blue Tree project founder Kendall Whyte.

“By spreading the paint and spreading the message that it’s okay to not be okay, we can help break down the stigma that’s still largely attached to mental health, inform people that we all have blue days but there will always be someone who you can talk to, and someone who will listen.”

Melville council will also hold a free Active in the Park yoga class on October 17, next to the Point Walter Blue Tree.

Melville mayor George Gear said the recent challenges and uncertainty of covid-19 had brought mental health sharply nto focus.

“With the ABS reporting that one in five Australians aged 16 to 85 experience a mental illness each year, and almost half of Australians experience a mental illness in their lifetime, we know that supporting our community to be mentally healthy is a key priority,” he said.

“Mental Health Week encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing and check in with those around us.” 

On October 16 schools are encouraged to take part in Magic Coat day, which uses fun analogies to teach kids simple and effective mental health strategies.

The free event includes a host of special guests and activities at the WACA grounds in Perth.

Rounding off Mental Health Week will be a high tea and closing ceremony at the Padoga Resort and Spa in Como, with free tickets available for 50 people.

For more information and to see all the events during Mental Health Week go to mentalhealthweek.org.au

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