I once heard a saying, “When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, even illness becomes wellness”. It seems fitting when talking about the great lengths that the local community at St Vincent’s Hospital Inner City Health Program have gone to, creating the Inner City Team Marbles Challenge.
To celebrate Mental Health Month the annual Marbles Challenge will be held at Northcott Community Centre from 3.30pm on Friday October 9. The fun team-based competition is comprised of activities with a message about mental health and breaking the stigma. The Marbles Challenge also raises awareness and funds for the Recovery Cave, the third floor space of the O’Brien Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital which aims to be a leader in the conversation of recovery.
Bill Yan from South Sydney Community Aid, the captain of the green team for two consecutive years, says that, “The different tasks required of the Marbles Challenge have created different platforms to engage with the public.” Bill continued that this has helped strengthen the message and brought enhanced commitment from participants and supporters alike.
In the lead up to the event, each team, comprised of one team captain and four additional members, will set up a team Facebook page and encourage the general public to like their page. The team will also garner support by registering supporters up until the commencement of the Marble Challenge. The team with the greatest number of Facebook likes and supporters will receive the most points.
On the day, the six teams, led by their team captains, will begin by assembling their marbles ramp. The team who takes the least time to do this will gain the most points. In their last chance to receive points, up to 50 marble rollers per team will roll 50 marbles through their structures. Again, the team who takes the least time will secure the greatest number of points.
When speaking about the impact of the project, the Consumer Participation Officer of the Inner City Health Program, Douglas Holmes, stated that, “Already both the Team Marbles Challenge and the Recovery Cave have started to change the conversation about mental health care in and across the Inner City, by becoming part of the acceptable language of the mental health service.” In the future he hopes to see the Team Marbles Challenge grow to teams for each colour of the colour palette.