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Every year in October (Mental Health Month), people who care about mental health gather together to share a special event called the ‘Walk of Pride’. This event is in its 5th year in Wollongong and is in conjunction with the Wollongong Mental Health Month Expo which is also in its 5th year that will be held in the Wollongong mall.
The aims of these events is
• to foster hope and encouragement for all people living with a mental illness
• to acknowledge the essential role played by carer’s, friends and families of those with a mental illness, and their need for support to challenge the stigma associated with mental illness.
This year both the Walk of Pride and the Mental Health Month Expo is proudly sponsored by Bluescope and Win Network Community Partners.
Participants walk with smiles, banners and balloons from Civic Plaza in Burelli Street, we ask participants to gather at Civic Plaza at 9.30am where our Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery will officially welcome everyone and open this year’s event. Wollongong’s Mental Health Ambassador Dan Hunt will lead the walk up through Crown Street into the mental health month celebrations.
The Walk provides hope and inspiration for people affected by mental health conditions and their loved ones, and also for the workers in services which deliver education, treatment and support. It presents an important opportunity for everyone to learn more about mental illness and recovery, and to show support for all those whose lives are touched by mental illness.
The Walk is an uplifting and inspiring event. It provides a key opportunity for children and people with no experience of mental illness to discover the all-important fact that people with a mental illness are simply people who happen to be unwell: achieving this awareness on an individual level is the most effective way to challenge the stigma which still surrounds mental illness. The information conveyed by guest speakers at the commencement of the Walk of Pride and at the Mental Health Month Expo we hope will de-mystify and de stigmatise mental illness.
The Mental Health month expo will include Guest speakers, entertainment, activities and local non government and government mental health services providing information on their services and programs.
With so many young people now affected by mental health conditions it is essential to encourage more young people and families to become involved in the event. Mental Health just like Physical Health touches us all in one way or another.
Walk of Pride
Where: Civic Plaza
When: Thursday 12th October
Time: 9.30 – 10am
Mental Health Month Expo
Where: Wollongong Mall
When: Thursday 12th October
Time: 10.00am – 2pm