Canberrans encouraged to seek mental health and wellbeing help

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A COMMUNITY group is leading the way to encourage Canberrans to look after their mental wellbeing following a difficult year impacted by nearby bushfires and coronavirus.

The Street Theatre is one of 20 recipients of a mental health and wellbeing innovation grant, which funded their latest project – a creative practice resource to rebuild, rejuvenate and reimagine artists’ futures.

Street Theatre executive producer Caroline Stacey hoped Canberrans to reached out and supported each other as the year draws to a close.

“The challenges of 2020 have shown more than ever how important it is to connect to the things that matter most to us,” Ms Stacey said.

“Take time to remind yourself what you value – in yourself, in those you care for, in your community, in your country. Do what energises you and connects with those values.”

ACT Health has partnered with the territory government to launch the new grants and to share practical and timely tips to staying well and help others during the holiday period.

Previously Ways to Wellbeing have been published ahead of community groups sharing their tips that highlight important work many of them have been doing in the community.

Social media channels have been another device ACT Health have utilised in recent weeks to show practical ways to boost people’s moods.

Both Palliative Care ACT and COTA – Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant – have also reached out to the elderly with tips on mental wellbeing including how to cope after losing someone this year.

“Not everyone feels the same way during the festive season, and on top of everything our community has been through in 2020, some people may be struggling with being away from loved ones,” Minister for Health Emma Davidson said.

“If anyone is experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, it is important to remember there is always someone you can talk to and help is available.”

For more information on ACT Health’s ways to wellbeing: https://www.health.act.gov.au/services-and-programs/mental-health/ways-wellbeing. Crisis and information services can be contacted 24/7 during the holidays through Lifeline – 13 11 14, Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800, ACT mental health crisis assessment treatment team – 1800 629 354, Healthdirect Australia – 1800 022 222 and ACT Health’s walk-in centres for when other frontline services such as GPs might not be available.

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