We All Have a Role to Play

Mental Health Month is a chance to promote activities and ideas that can have a positive impact on our daily lives and the lives of others. These events and messages are tied together with a specific theme, and this year’s is “We all have a role to play”.

Mental Health Month 2023.
What role will you play?

Here are some ways you could be a Mental Health Month Community Champion


Provide your community with an opportunity to engage, learn and find support services to support their wellbeing. Invite local services providers and professionals to be a part of a locally run exhibition event.

Service Expo Checklist

1. Find a venue
Maybe a local park, community hall or service provider
2. Collaborate with local service providers
Connect with a wide variety of service providers that your community will benefit from including WayAhead resources and directory services
3. Connect with local council
Seek support for advertising, venue or monetary assistance
4. Advertise
Add your event details to our poster and share with local council, schools, libraries or groups
5. Event logistics
Plan and find support for registrations, equipment needed, food supply, set up/ pack down ect.
6. Think about access
Plan a range of options to help people access the event, this might include a courtesy bus, Auslan and/or community language interpreters, quiet spaces, and accessible amenities.
7. Champion the event
Have fun and keep promoting mental health awareness at the event

Bonus addition: find a local provider/ individuals/ carer with lived experience to tell an inspiring story of recovery to the community


Organise a mental health month BBQ to engage your community on the roles they can play this mental health month. Boost your event with a skill or activity that the community would love.

BBQ checklist

1. Date & location
Choose a date and location suitable for most of the community you are hoping to attend. Including with backup weather plan
2. Budget
Determine a budget and whether you want to set up tickets, donation-based food or a free event
3. Menu
Source local, feasible, dietary friendly catering options – think about partnering with local grocer/ restaurant
4. Initations
Promote your event to the target community or advertise to the broader community through local newspaper and flyers
5. Entertainment & set-up
Plan for some entertainment, music and/or decorations as well as practical things like tables, chairs and serving utensils
6. Think about access
Plan a range of options to help people access the event, this might include a courtesy bus, Auslan and/or community language interpreters, quiet spaces, and accessible amenities.
7. Champion the event
Create a safe, inclusive space to raise awareness around mental health and connect as a community

Bonus addition: Add an activity that promotes wellbeing by partnering with another skilled community champion. This may be an art therapy class, yoga flow or sound healing session.

Workplace Wonders work together with different groups of people within their organisations to develop an environment where everyone’s wellbeing and job satisfaction is increased. Workplace wellbeing is important not just for the individual but the company, as it may enhance employee reputation aiding in attracting and retaining talent while assisting in fulfilling the legal and ethical considerations for businesses to support a mentally healthy workplace.

Here are some ways you could be a Mental Health Month Workplace Wonder

Learn how We All Have a Role to Play

Workplaces are staffed with people, in all sorts of positions. There are general employees and peers, front line managers and executive leaders. Each have very different roles within a workplace – and each can play a very different part in supporting the wellbeing of those at work!

Every week during October, you can tune in as experts dive into some of the most pivotal influences on mental health throughout our working lives, the roles of each group in creating happy and healthy workplaces, and gain confidence in navigating your wellbeing at work. Workplace wellbeing isn’t just a job for individuals to work on in isolation – the whole organisation can help!

Sign up your organisation

Are you a manager or leader in your workplace? You can sign up your team, or your entire workplace to participate in this initiative. You will be provided further resources to help you communicate and launch this initiative, as well as manage discussions in conjunction to the resources provided. 

By working through this resource as a group, you can learn how to collaboratively support each other’s wellbeing, working in lock step to develop a resilient and passionate working environment.

Sign-up a group or as an individual

Here are some ways you could be a Mental Health Month School Superstar


A mental health morning tea is a great way to gather students and start a conversation in a non-confrontational way. Use this time to create a greater understanding of the importance of mental health on our overall wellbeing, ability to cope with stress, interactions with others and decision making.

Morning tea checklist:

1. Plan the event
Including time, location, invites & budget
2. Request permission
Ask you school for permission and support to run your event
3. Invite guests
Make a list of teachers, parents, students you would like to invite and spread the word. Eg. Email, flyer, poster, newsletter
4. Assign roles
Find volunteers to help run the event and assign them a task. Eg. Table set up, catering, photos
5. Set up morning tea
Decorate the space with mental health month posters and relevant information. Remember practical things like chairs & tables as well as inviting aesthetics like tablecloths and flowers.
6. Run the event
Encourage people to continue to engage in mental health month and find their role(s) to play


This low budget and low resource option is a great way to take a break and stay present in the moment. Mindfulness is a helpful practice to develop awareness, cultivate focus, reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing.

Mindful walking guide:

• Find a quiet place to begin and take a few deep breaths, notice where you feel tension in the body and try let go of the tension
• Start walking slowly and see what you can notice around you eg. Smells, textures, sounds, temperature
• As you continue to walk, focus on your breath. Inhaling through the nose, noticing how it feels and slowly exhaling through the mouth.
• Notice how your body feels when you walk, where your feet contact the ground.
• Pause and take in more of your surroundings wherever you like on your walk
• Finish your walk in stillness, taking a few deep breaths, and notice if there is any difference in the way you feel from the beginning. You may feel lighter, calmer or more focused

How to involve others?

-Tell your friends about your experience when mindful walking and the positive effects it had on your day and/or overall wellbeing
-Invite a friend or group to join you on a mindful walk together, either guiding them or walking together in silence

Here are some ways you could be a Mental Health Month Amazing Ally


Encourage and create a connection with someone to be able to share their story. You are not a professional or there to provide advice, but an amazing ally.

1. Set boundaries
Set clear guidelines for yourself and others to create a safe sharing space, acknowledging you do not have to have all the answers.
2. Active listening
Avoid distractions and focus on the individual. Create a sense of connection by acknowledging and empathising with what the person is sharing with you.
3. Non-judgement
Do not judge behaviour that may seem abnormal to you. Do not provide advice about choices one makes – that may seem judgmental.
4. Normalise seeking help
If you are comfortable, you can share your own experience of seeking help and the importance of support in mental health.
5. Resource & refer
Provide resources and refer to evidence-based research, health websites and support services, like WayAhead [mental health directory (https://directory.wayahead.org.au/)]


Advocacy is an ongoing effort and requires us all to continually educate and challenge ourselves and others. Allyship can take many forms and varies in scope and impact, and together we are working for a more just, equal society, supportive of mental health.

1· Expand your knowledge

There’s always more to learn when it comes to mental health. Seek out resources and information created by people with lived experiences, personal stories, and allyship resources. The WayAhead Amazing Ally pack was developed by people with lived experience, and can be found here.

The NSW Mental Health Commission also has a collection of lived experience stories.

And to learn more about de-stigmatising mental health check out Mental – The podcast to destigmatize mental health.

2· Educate your community
Post mental health month poster and resources around your workplace, home, community.
Use your social platform to share WayAhead’s stigma busting social campaign.

3· Challenge stigma
Challenge stereotypes and stigma by opening discussing issues and sharing personal stories.
Speak up if you see someone being mistreated because of their mental health

4· Encourage access to mental health services
Promote and engage with mental health services.
Support organisations that provide mental health services

5· Policy advocacy
Contact elected representative to promote mental health care and support. Advocate for representatives supporting mental health care and support.

Here are some ways you could be a Mental Health Month Incredible Individual


Attend a mental health month event

  • Check out our calendar of events
  • Find a mental health month event that looks interesting and accessible to you
  • Engage with your community in a way that is beneficial for your mental health

You might like to attend with someone else – a friend or family member for example – who can help you get there and can be supportive.


Peer worker support

What is a Peer worker?
Someone with lived experience of mental health challenges who has received specific training to support others in their recovery journey

How to find a peer worker?
You can find them through mental health organisations, support groups or mental health clinics. Your local Primary Health Network and Local Health District may be able to connect you with peer workers in your area. WayAhead runs a number of peer-led anxiety support groups, you can learn more here.
SANE Australia can also connect you with peers and peer workers.

What support can I expect?
Depending on the type of peer support you access, you might collaborate on a recovery plan including strategies to cope with symptoms, building a supportive network and setting achievable goals.

What is required from me?
Together it is important to develop a trusting relationship, be open and honest about experiences and feelings and attend regular sessions.


Do you know someone or a group who is making positive impacts in the mental health space? Nominating them for a Mental Health Matters Award is a great way to help support their amazing work and spread their message.

> About the Awards | Mental Health Month


Have you already started planning a mental health month event or project and need extra support? Apply for a small grant!

> Apply for a Grant | Mental Health Month October

More information to help plan or apply? starter kit – link


Check out the variety of fun events around NSW and be sure to add your event to the calendar for the chance to be promoted on our socials, increase attendance numbers and message visibility.

> Submit an Event | Mental Health Month


Help spread well informed and impactful information about mental health awareness on your social media! Share our posts that you love and be sure to tag us in any wonderful events you are part of.

Follow, like, share!



Show your support for mental health month by displaying a poster in your workplace (order for free) or adding our email signature (download for free).

> Downloadable posters, factsheets and shareables | Mental Health Month


Educating yourself not only empowers you in your everyday life but helps give you the tools to be an ally across all your roles.

> How to be a Mental Health Ally | Mental Health Month


It can be useful to have some information prepared that you can pass on to people who have questions you don’t have answers to. Having information on-hand from local organisations can be useful for helping people determine what steps to take next. You can find information on where to get help on our [website (wayahead.org.au)] or you can search the WayAhead Directory  for services in your area.


Listen actively to what people are saying to you. It can help to repeat what they have said as a question to make sure you’ve heard them correctly. It can sometimes help to share your own experience – although you certainly don’t have to – but often people just want to know that someone has heard their story. Active listening gives others a real sense that their story is important. If someone is talking with you about their mental health, they trust you to be understanding and non-judgemental.

Avoid making judgements about behaviour that may seem unusual to you or giving advice about choices like diet or substance use – this advice can feel like a judgement. It can be helpful to ask if someone would like advice before offering it. A simple question like “would you like some advice, or would you prefer me to just listen?” can be really effective in creating a safe conversation.

Respect that people are entitled to determine their own course of action. It is up to them what they do with the information available to them.


Before the event, have a think about what your boundaries are. What do you feel confident talking about? What might you need more information or support with? When might you need to refer someone to another source of assistance?

Be honest about your limitations and communicate them clearly. Remember, it’s ok not to know everything yourself. Let others know if they are asking you for information or assistance that you can’t immediately provide.

Identify people that can support you if something comes up that is difficult or upsetting and let them know that they might need to do that for you on the day.


Remember that looking after yourself and your team is just as important as looking after others. Consider getting together before the event to have a chat about your plan and after the event to talk about how you think things went and to celebrate. Keep an eye out for each other on the day.

Don’t forget to make time to congratulate everyone involved (including yourself).

Information is from the Mental Health Month Event Starter Kit