This year, Mental Health Week runs from the 7-14 October. It's an opportunity to promote awareness about mental health and wellbeing, and equip people with the right information.
There are two themes for 2017: ‘Connect with nature, connect with community, connect with self for mental wellbeing’ AND ‘Connect with country, connect with community, connect with you for strong social and emotional wellbeing'.
We've put together a list of ideas of activities/events that you can do in your school, workplace, club, community group or friendship network....
Cultural event ideas:
- Invite local Aboriginal & Torres Strait Elders to speak or give a Welcome to Country at your event. If this isn’t an option (Elder not available) you should always do an ‘Acknowledgement to Country’ at the start of the event.
- Host a morning or afternoon tea for your club, family or workplace. You can ask for a gold coin donation for Act-Belong-Commit or another mental health charity of your choice. Bring in traditional Bush Tucker foods such as damper, jam, honey and other seeds/nuts.
- More specifically, you can host a ‘crafternoon tea’ and ask people to show how they Act-Belong-Commit using traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and crafts.
- Invite an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander sportsperson or artist to visit you and run an activity or information session.
- Run a yarning circle during your lunch break. It’s an opportunity for people to be heard without being interrupted, the discussion can be around social and emotional wellbeing and the Act-Belong-Commit message.
- Host a community/workplace walk for Mental Health Week or ask a local person to facilitate a Cultural Walk through local bushland and trails.
- Listen to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander musicians or watch a movie about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history.
- Organise Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander dancers to perform at your event.
- As a group, visit local Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander sites of significance or interest.
- Organise a smoking ceremony (must consult on this with Elders).
- Set up an area in your workplace, school or community centre that encourages people to explore the culture and sense of belonging to Country.
Other event ideas:
- Host a morning or afternoon tea for you club, family or workplace. You can ask for a gold coin donation for Act-Belong-Commit or another mental health charity of your choice.
- More specifically, you can host a ‘crafternoon tea’ and ask people to paint, draw or scrapbook how they Act-Belong-Commit.
- Host a community/workplace walk for Mental Health Week, ask a local person to facilitate a Cultural Walk.
- Hold a ‘Free Dress Day’ and encourage people to wear the Act-Belong-Commit colours of purple, green and blue.
- Have a mentally healthy Olympics day, with different obstacles and courses for participants.
- Celebrate ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ day using the Act-Belong-Commit kindness cards (email us to get some).
- Host a guided meditation session.
- Invite a local yoga teacher in to take a lunch time practise.
- Invite people to bring a photo from their childhood in and share a memory with others.
- Create a Mental Health board and people can bring in photos of how they Act-Belong-Commit or write it on paper and pin it up.
- Screen a movie on an appropriate topic, followed by snacks and a discussion e.g. Inside Out, Silver Linings Playbook, As Good As it Gets or a Beautiful Mind
- Hire some of our resources from us and set up an interactive display within your club or workplace one day.
- Have an outdoor picnic, where everybody brings in food from a different culture.
- Quiz Night (or day)! Include questions about Mental Health Week and Act-Belong-Commit, ask us for specific ideas.
- Host a competition, ask staff to name three ways they stay mentally healthy, use some Act-Belong-Commit merchandise as a prize. If you work with children, host a colouring-in competition using our templates.
- If you’re an arts organisation or group, get creative and express Act-Belong-Commit through your chosen art form, such as dance, poetry, music, photography and so on.
- Host a free open day, use the Act-Belong-Commit mental health message as an incentive for people to join.
- Get social! Organise for a group of friends or staff to attend a Mental Health Week event, there is a list here: mhw.waamh.org.au/2017-events
- Host an Act-Belong-Commit bake-off where people try new recipes and get members or colleagues to judge a winner.