Colourful conversations

Jessop Walley-Bryant was front and centre for the colour run fun at the foreshore. PHOTOS: CHARLOTTE MARTIN 366877_03

Port Lincoln was a cloud of colour as last week’s Mental Health Expo brought fun and fitness to the foreshore.

October is Mental Health Awareness Month and Headspace Port Lincoln, together with Country & Outback Health, held a Mental Health Expo on Thursday, October 12.

Headspace Port Lincoln youth and community engagement officer Tara Welsh said it was happy with how the event went.

“There were many ages from across the community that came out to experience fun-filled activities, delicious food and live music,” she said.

“We found it was well supported from lots of health services across the board, getting out and supporting the community for Mental Health Awareness Month.

“At this stage we aren’t sure if we will run it again but it’s something we would like to do due to the success, so it’s something we are looking at in future.”

There was plenty to do on the day, with Wild on Eyre coming out to showcase some animals, including a snake, which Wild on Eyre’s Michael Wynne said had been available to residents before to assist with exposure therapy.

Scott Easton from Xtreme Kites and Paddle held some epic games of bubble soccer and had a bouncy castle set up.

Bedford Group had a stall and Anya Fiedler described the benefits of having supported employment and work opportunities for people with a disability.

Bunnings held a stall for community members to come and plant a pot of flowers, a message on mindfulness and the benefits of tactile play.

A free workout was held by Life Club which some may have followed up with The Rotary Club of Port Lincoln’s sausage sizzle barbecue.

Dreamcatchers were woven at the Centacare marquee; there were also little rocks for painting. Centacare offers family and relationship support services to the community.

West Coast Youth and Community had a game of giant Jenga with a theme on perspective, acknowledging that people can all see things differently.

54 Reasons, part of the Save the Children global group, set up an early childhood play space – it is a not-for-profit that runs free early learning programs in the community.

Its marquee had the prime location set-up next to the live music for all to enjoy.

Headspace had some giveaways and an art project for children to get involved in, there was a painting of a tree and participants could dip their fingers in paint and leave their fingerprints as leaves on the branches.

The grand finale for the day was the colour run, a diverse range of residents lined up either side of buckets of colour and on the count of three, ran into the centre to cover each other and any bystanders in a rainbow of powdery fun.

The event aimed to improve community awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing.

The theme of Mental Health Awareness month this year has been to ‘have the conversation’, encouraging people to talk about their own mental health and that of their community.