To mark World Mental Health Day, YMCA and Bendigo Community Health Services are promoting the internationally recognised #IAMWHOLE campaign.
The aim is to encourage people to take an hour out of their day to focus on their mental heath and to share a photo of themselves with the #IAMWHOLE symbol on their palm, along with details about how they look after their mental health.
BRYMCA youth empowerment coordinator Jamie Roberts said it was important to emphasise mental health in the same way society promoted physical health.
“From an early age we hear lots of messages around looking after our physical health, whether that be eating your vegetables or playing outside,” Mr Roberts said.
“Our mental health is just as important, but in the past we have not been having the same conversations around how we can look after it.”
The organisations are collaborating to ensure there are “powerful” messages out in the community which will raise awareness about mental health.
“For the Bendigo YMCA to make a real difference to the lives of young people, particularly on such an important issue as mental health, we need to actively seek to work alongside other community organisations to share our knowledge and expertise,” Mr Roberts said.
“The YMCA is good at promoting healthy lifestyles which in turn benefits good mental health. Bendigo Community Health Services and headspace are the experts at providing services to young people in crisis.”
BCHS health promotions officer Anne-Marie Kelly also emphasised the importance of discussions around mental health among young people.
“Our research on mental health and wellbeing indicated there are underlying factors which can then impact other aspects of life such as physical health,” Ms Kelly said.
Ms Kelly said the partnership ensured the campaign’s message would reach more people.
World Mental Health Day is celebrated internationally on October 10 and is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health.
There will be a presentation to students at Weeroona College Bendigo on Wednesday with activities based on methods to maintain and improve mental health.
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