Community organisations, businesses, service providers, state and local government representatives and more met last week to work together on supporting mental health and wellbeing in Knox.
At the Taking Action - Mental Health and Wellbeing in Knox online forum, participants were treated to valuable insights and perspectives from a panel of guest speakers including:
- Dr Stephen Carbone, Executive Director, Prevention United, ‘Primary Prevention and Partnership in Addressing Mental Health’
- Danielle McLeod, Senior Policy Advisor, Mental Health Victoria ‘The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System’
- Leanne FitzGerald, Living out Best Life Project Officer, CHAOS - Local initiative ‘Living Our Best Life’
Understanding the many factors that influence mental health was a key takeaway of the forum, with Dr Carbone highlighting that many of these factors aren’t ‘in our heads’ but also include our environment, surroundings and aspects of our daily lives.
The participants also discussed how mental health intersects with other issues and challenges for our community, such as discrimination, disability or substance abuse. A clear focus was ensuring a diverse mix of voices in discussions around mental health to support a holistic approach to improving it.
Our community has told us that mental health and wellbeing is one of their top priorities as we continue to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on recovery.
In recent years and particularly as a result of the pandemic, mental health and wellbeing across Melbourne’s east have been in decline and our COVID-19 Household Impact Survey reinforced this, with mental health and social isolation identified as priority areas of concern and focus for our community.
At the forum, Council launched the new Knox Mental Health Action Plan to gain feedback and ideas on how to best support the mental health of local residents.
The plan identifies opportunities for us to collaborate with and support local organisations such as community groups, sporting clubs, volunteer and cultural organisations to promote positive mental health outcomes across the city.
As these partnerships and projects develop, we’ll share more information on initiatives and programs available to support our community’s mental health and wellbeing.
You can check out a recording of the online forum below and read more about the Knox Mental Health Action Plan here. If you or a loved one needs help or support with mental health, visit our list of resources and contacts.
Watch the forum recording: