Monday marked the start of National Mental Health Week with activities and initiatives to help educate people about mental health and remove the stigma surrounding it.
Queanbeyan is playing its part to help make life better for those with a mental illness.
Mental health organisation Headspace are hosting several activities during the week.
They kicked off yesterday, on national Headspace Day, with Dog Space, a fortnightly initiative where people aged 12 to 25 can go to the Headspace centre and have fun with a furry friend.
But according to community engagement co-ordinator Nat Oliver, the program offers some very serious benefits.
“Dog Space is a chance for young people to come and hang out in a safe space and do something that makes them feel good – even just for an hour,” Ms Oliver said.
“It’s also a great opportunity for young people who don’t necessarily want to make an appointment at Headspace to come and check us out in a really casual way.”
On Thursday Headspace’s Youth Reference Group will host a self care night for anyone aged 12 to 25 where attendees will be able to learn about the importance of self care and take home a self care pack. Headspace youth worker Karina Young said that neglecting these basic functions can often prolong or worsen symptoms of mental illness.
“Self care is sometimes the last thing we feel like doing when times get tough and yet it’s one of the most important steps in getting through tough times,” Ms Young said.
One in four young people in Australia experience a mental health issue each year and both Ms Oliver and Ms Young highlighted the importance of mental health week to help improve people’s lives.
As part of a national Headspace initiative people are being asked to share what they do to care for their mental health. You can visit the Headspace website and download a headspace placard and then spread it on social media with #headspaceday.
Headspace Queanbeyan will also partner with several organisations across the region to support the LGBTQIA+ & Allies Prom being held in Canberra on Friday.