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Local charity moves forward with mental health

Eastlakes-based not-for-profit organisation South Eastern Community Connect (SECC) will be delivering a range of programs as part of Mental Health Month in October.


Mental Health Month is celebrated throughout the month of October. Photo: Supplied

Mental Health Month is celebrated throughout the month of October. Photo: Supplied

SECC is joining the Cadre Project, which offers training and education to community members to bring greater understanding about mental health issues. SECC has already rolled out one training session and has another coming up in October.

Project Coordinator Linda Castellazzi says the SECC will train up to 20 people at a time on how to support friends and family members struggling with a mental illness. “There are many stigmas in the community, such as that people with mental illness are dangerous, and that they will never improve,” Ms Castellazzi says.

In another Mental Health Month initiative, SECC is running a series of free workshops designed to boost mental health – from drumming classes through to art therapy and mindfulness training.

Drumming workshops, led by a registered music therapist at Alf Kay Eastlakes Community Centre, will run for eight weeks, from Monday October 8, 2pm to 3pm. Classes are designed to help students find their own rhythm, boost self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and connect with others.

An eight-week series of art therapy classes will start on Friday October 19. The sessions will give participants the chance to have fun, explore their own creativity and build self-esteem. Participants of all skill levels are welcome, and the sessions will run from 10am to 11.30am at Alf Kay Eastlakes Community Centre.

The Introduction to Mindfulness course will run in partnership with the Recovery College over five weeks, starting Thursday October 25, 11am to 1pm.

Mental Health Month is celebrated throughout the month of October in NSW and aims to promote the importance of early intervention practices for positive mental health and wellbeing and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. The awareness campaign coincides with the World Health Organisation’s World Mental Health Day, October 10.

Alison Leader is the Communications Manager for South Eastern Community Connect.

Visit or call 8338 8506 for more information.

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