Message not displaying? View the web version
unsubscribe   forward   Facebook Like Button  Tweet Button
Mental Health Week   8 - 15 October 2016
October 2016

Mental Health Week - that's a wrap!

With Mental Health Week over for another year, we want to thank everyone who participated in this important national health campaign and helped us reach new heights in 2016 around Western Australia.

More than 30,000 people were estimated to be involved in community events and awareness raising activities across the State during Mental Health Week WA. This year, we also witnessed record levels of online engagement too with thousands of interaction recorded via social media with #MHW2016. 

Mental Health Week, now in its 49th year, is coordinated annually by the Western Australian Association for Mental Health, in partnership with the Mental Health Commission. 

The 2016 themes, Act-Belong-Commit (courtesy of Mentally Healthy WA) with a focus on suicide prevention, 'Together We Can Save Lives' reached children, youth, families, parents, government, community and business employees and employers, Aboriginal communities, mental health hospitals, and a diverse range of individuals across the State.

Biggest Opening Ceremony to date!

The Western Australian Association for Mental Health and the Mental Health Commission partnered with Perth Wildcats this year to organise the biggest Opening Ceremony event ever for Mental Health Week. A crowd of around 14,000 people watched the Wildcats beat the Cairns Taipans in a nail biting thriller, going into overtime at the Perth Arena. The Official Mental Health Week Ambassador, vice-captain Greg Hire took to the court to help the home team over the line!

Our amazing volunteers tin shaking at the game

Promoting Mental Health Week and the Act-Belong-Commit messages on the concourse

WAAMH CEO, Rod Astbury, accepting a grant from Assistant Mental Health Commssioner David Axworthy on behalf of Lotterywest to support Mental Health Week

A call to action

The Perth Wildcats dancers getting the crowd pumped for the game!

A huge crowd turnout for the Wildcats first home game

Fun for all the family at Elizabeth Quay!

The clouds disappeared and the sun shone long enough for the Family Fun Day at Perth's newest development, Elizabeth Quay. WAAMH partnered with the City of Perth to present a range of activities for the public to try, including bubble soccer, hula hooping, yoga, dancing, volleyball, netball, fitness, face painting, giant knitting and much more!

Uncle Charlie Kickett officially opened the event with a Welcome to Country, WAAMH president Alison Xamon celebrated WAAMH's 50th birthday and MHW Ambassador Greg Hire was on hand to spread positive mental health messages! 

Volleyball WA's multicultural women's team

Volleyball WA's Multicultural Exhibition Game

The Act-Belong-Commit team

Happy Healthy Hoops

Perth Wildcat and Mental Health Week Ambassador Greg Hire

The amazing Elan Dance troupe got the crowd pumping with some awesome dance moves and beats.

The very cool Giant Knitting

Storytelling with Aboriginal Elders

WAAMH partnered with the Looking Forward project team and Richmond Wellbeing to present the Mindijt Kaart Moorditj Kaart Nyoongar forum to a sell out audience. Participants gained insight into the project and a collective story harvesting workshop with Aboriginal Elders, which explored the key learnings of the story.

This event was the first step in addressing the fundamental need for mental health services (private, public and community-based) to be culturally inclusive, supportive and sensitive to specific Aboriginal people.  

A huge week of events!

World Mental Health Day was celebrated with the annual Awareness Stall in the heart of Perth, this year at Forrest Place.

Hundreds of people descened on the city centre to receive free mental health resources and information. Performances from DRUMBEAT and Kinetica Youth Circus also helped mark the day.

Nearly two hundred parents attended a very insightful forum on Raising Resilient Children with presentations from Act-Belong-Commit Ambassador Desiree Holz, Positives Schools chair The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley and IZRA founder Cassie Fox-Kirtsingham. 

Additionally, across WA there were music concerts, art exhibitions, quiz nights, movie screenings, mindfulness sessions, workplace seminars, youth forums, dance workshops, men's sheds, tai chi, pram and dog walks, university events, BBQs, lights out discos, mental health workshops and so much more!

Stunning works from the annual Arts and Mental Health Network Art Exhibition

DRUMBEAT in Forrest Place

Storn promoting suicide prevention in Forrest Place

Getting messages into the workplace

Due to overwhelming demand in 2015, two workplace wellness seminars were held during the week. Blooming Minds director Tasha Broomhall provided the audience with key strategies to implement in their workplace to improve mental health plus a range of resources to support them in doing so. Blue Shirt Wednesday founder Nick Hudson also gave insight into workplace mental health and his drive behind starting this mental health awareness campaign.

A focus on suicide prevention

WAAMH presented two events focusing on suicide prevention on Thursday October 13. A high profile panel consisting of Dr Neale Fong (Ministerial Council for Suicide prevention), Fiona Kalaf (Youth Focus), Ashlee Harrison (Zero2hero), Claire Foster (Freedom Centre) and Kelly Riley (Anglicare WA) presented on youth and suicide prevention at Central Park. This event helped the community and mental health sector understand current initiatives and tools currently in place and the plan of action going forward around the state.

A creative workshop was held the same afternoon for individuals touched by suicide. Well-known artist, James Berlyn facilitated a workshop titled, 'Questions I will ask' which was very well received by attendees.

Remote and regional WA shines

This year's Regional Community Grants Program resulted in more than $66,000 worth of applications to host Mental Health Week events across the state. WAAMH provided more than $20,000 to enable events to be held in Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Denmark, Dowerin, Gnowangerup, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Kondinin, Manjimup, Merredin, Narambeen, Northam, Pingelley, Port Hedland, Roebourne, South Hedland, Tom Price, West Arthur, Wongan Hills and the metro area.

Again in 2016, hundreds of organisations ordered resources to support their events held in workplaces, schools and in the community.

Ending the week with a laugh!

Thanks to the Perth Theatre Trust, comedy was on the calendar yet again, this year as the official Mental Health Week Closing Ceremony. Stand Up! For Comedy showcased a hilarious bunch of local and interstate comedians performing in front of a sell out crowd at one of Perth's newest venues, the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. This is the third year Stand Up! for Comedy has sold out and every year, Perth Theatre Trust donates part proceeds from the event back into community mental health charities. 

Media coverage and photos

The West Australian’s Health + Medicine published another successful 20-page magazine focused on mental health and suicide prevention across the whole community. Of note were articles on Perth Wildcat, founder of charity A Stitch in Time, and Mental Health Week 2016 Ambassador Greg Hire; plus many personal stories of struggle and survival from those who have been touched by suicide. Read the lift-out here.

Mental Health Week received coverage in The West Australian, Community News and across radio during the week.

Mental Health Week saturated social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram through the hashtags #MHW2016, #MentalHealthWeek2016 and #ActBelongCommit.

Photos from Mental Health Week 2016 can be viewed on the Mental Health Week WA Facebook page and on WAAMH's Flickr feed.

See you in 2017!

Thanks again for everyone's involvement. We look forward to seeing you next year for another successful Mental Health Week!

If you are interested in being considered for the Mental Health Week 2017 steering committee, becoming a sponsor, or partnering to co-host a large community event, please email

Thank you!

Thanks to the Mental Health Week Steering Committee who donated their time in 10 month lead-up to the week and in the many days during it. The steering group comprised the following members:

  • Helen Cromie, Brooke Johns and Sarah Cooper from WAAMH
  • Marsha Dale from Mental Health Commission
  • Sarah Graham and Jess Marmoy from Act-Belong-Commit
  • Ernie Hansen from the Lorikeet Centre
  • Paul Bailey from headspace
  • Joshua Cunniffe and Ashley McPhail from YACWA
  • Daniella Joyce from City of Perth
  • Danica Hall and Alicia Beaton from St Bartholomew's House
  • Olivia O'Connor from Helping Minds
  • Mel Davis from Diabetes WA
  • Amanda Passeri from Grow WA
  • Angela Piscitelli from North Metropolitan Health Service Mental Health
  • Katie McGrath from Relationships WA
  • Bree Olsen from Richmond Wellbeing
  • Nick Hudson from Blue Shirt Wednesday
  • Divya Nasta from Men's Health and Wellbeing
  • Jilly O'Brien from Inclusion WA
  • Lee Griffiths from RUAH
  • Claire Mitchell from UWA
  • Luisa Wing and Carol Fryer from CommunityWest
  • Abby Page from Samaritans
  • Antonella Segre from ConnectGroups
  • Bridget Harvey from Outcare
  • Elizabeth Potter from Department of Local Government and Communities
  • Charlotte Hunter from Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Thanks to our 2016 Sponsors, Partners and Supporters

  • Mental Health Commission
  • Perth Theatre Trust
  • Mentally Healthy WA
  • Lotterywest
  • WA Primary Health Alliance
  • Black Swan Health
  • MercyCare
  • UnitingCare West
  • HelpingMinds
  • Rise
  • Mission Australia
  • St Bartholomew's House
  • Southern Cross Care (WA)
  • Neami National
  • Anglicare WA
  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • City of Perth
  • Perth College
  • Rio Tinto
  • Volleyball WA
  • Netball WA
  • Elan Dance
  • WA Sports Massage
  • Absolute Balance
  • Giant Knitting by Yallingup Steiner School
  • Edith Cown University
  • Orlando Media

Thanks to our 2016 Volunteers

Support from our volunteers was overwhelming and greatly appreciated. Thank you to those who took the time to tin shake at the Opening Ceremony and to those who helped at various other events throughout the week.

Big thanks also to Storn Peterson from Enterprise 33 for being everywhere it counted to be seen with his mental health resources-filled ute, again in 2016.

2016 Mental Health Week Sponsors

WA Association for Mental Health
1 Nash Street, Perth WA, 6000
(08) 6246 3000
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Flickr