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Free workshops to build understanding of mental illness

The content for this blog post was provided by Wellways Australia, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring all Australians lead active and fulfilling lives in their community.


Mental health issues don’t discriminate and can affect people in all walks of life, of all backgrounds and at any age. Almost half of all Australians will experience a mental illness this year. Which means that you will encounter clients, participants or members, as well as fitness industry colleagues, with mental health issues.

Despite being commonplace, however, few of us know how to deal with mental illness in our family, our community or workplace.

Wellways is on a mission to build a more inclusive and accepting world, from the ground up. We are providing free community workshops to help build an understanding of mental illness at schools, sporting groups and in workplaces. Already Wellways has held dozens of Well Together workshops across the eastern seaboard of Australia, in rural, regional and urban locations including Mackay, Wagga Wagga, Warrnambool, Canberra, Western Sydney, Inner Melbourne and Geelong.

Workshops are delivered by specially trained and accredited instructors, all with their own experience of mental health challenges. Each workshop also includes a first-hand account from a person with a lived experience of mental health issues and recovery. Workshops have a strong emphasis on understanding the experience of others.

Well Together workshops would normally cost hundreds of dollars, but are being delivered for FREE thanks to the support of the Australian Government Department of Social Services through the National Disability Insurance Agency.

‘Talking about our mental health is healthy on so many levels. It breaks down the barriers and stigma in our community. It means we can communicate rather than hide behind a mask and pretend everything’s fine’ said Wellways chief executive, Elizabeth Crowther.

‘Who doesn’t want to build a more supportive and inclusive community? This is a great way to get people talking in a supportive environment.’

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3 in 5 people aged 15-64 years with a mental or behavioral condition are working.
Nearly half of all Australians will experience a mental health issue at some stage of their lives.
Each year 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness. That means 1 in 5 people have experienced a common mental illness in the past year. 
About 4 per cent of people will experience a major depression episode in a 12-month period.
In 2015, 4 million Australians or almost 18 per cent of the population, said they had experienced a mental health issue.

To register interest in Well Together workshops, phone 1300 111 400 or go to wellways.org/our-services/well-together
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