Thousands attend fun day

Nathan Joyce and Venicia Soloman. Volunteers for mental health day. Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Nathan Joyce and Venicia Soloman. Volunteers for mental health day. Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

TODAY is World Mental Health Day and "the cat's out of the bag," according to volunteer for last week's mental health fun day Venicia Soloman.

Ms Soloman joined a host of volunteers at Jack Evans Boat Harbour to raise awareness of the growing concern of mental illness.

Yesterday a special afternoon tea was held for over 60 volunteers to say thank-you.

Event organiser Maria Breene said the fun day was "absolutely amazing."

"We easily had 2000 people throughout the day.

"The atmosphere, rides, activities and entertainment were above expectations.

"It was inspiring to see so many people who I know that are living with the challenges of mental illness.

"They contributed in every aspect of the day and the lead up organising.

"This project is an example of the healing potential of community involvement and an outstanding example of community development work which was only achievable through the hard work of all involved."

Ms Soloman said moves to dissolve the stigma of mental illness were gaining momentum.

"People are coming out of the darkness and into the light.

"No-one has to suffer in silence anymore."

World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues.

The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services.

This year the theme for the day is Depression: A Global Crisis.

Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease.

Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment.

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