Expo starts the mental health conversation

Jadiael Tekii from men’s wellbeing charity Project Blokes shared his moving story at the Rockhampton Mental Health Expo.

Forty mental health advocacy and support organisations from the Capricornia region have come together as part of the Rockhampton Mental Health Expo held in August.

The event is one of a series of Central Queensland Co-Design Collective initiatives funded by a grant from the Queensland Government’s Tackling Regional Adversity Through Integrated Care program and brought together the mental health advocacy and support organisations from throughout the region dedicated to improving people’s mental wellbeing and helping to reduce incidents of self-harm and suicide.

The Rockhampton Mental Health Expo was an initiative of the Central Queensland Co-Design Collective, established to educate the community about the importance of good mental health.

Debra Fitzgerald is the Regional Coordinator of Central Queensland CoDesign Collective partner and mental health and suicide prevention charity, selectability.

She said the mental health expo gave like-minded organisations the chance to network and “develop partnerships to benefit consumers, carers and the community”.

“We aim to reduce the stigma many people with mental health challenges experience and promote engagement in clinical services and professional supports,” Debra said.

The collective was devised by Carinity Education Rockhampton, partnering with local mental health advocacy groups and support services.

“In my role I witness the impacts of mental health on our students, their families and carers and my staff daily. Mental health is not something anyone should have to face alone, ever,” said Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal, Lyn Harland.

“As Mother Teresa teaches us, ‘It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.

“Our young people, their families and wider community are all interconnected. The Rockhampton Mental Health Expo brought together our community for a purpose that affects each and every one of us in one way or another.”

Guest speakers at the Rockhampton Mental Health Expo included national sporting legend, author, media presenter, and health and fitness ambassador Lisa Curry, Jadiael Tekii, founder of men’s wellbeing charity Project Blokes; Well Man founder and mental health advocate, Grant Westthorp; and youth psychologist, Christian Miesch.

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