Party on to remove stigma

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
The hat competition drew quite a crowd.
Camera IconThe hat competition drew quite a crowd. Credit: Bob Symons

The organisers of the Mad Hatter Tea Party know it can be hard for people with mental health issues to come forward and ask for help.

That is why headspace hosts the annual event in the Town Square, a friendly and accessible venue that makes it easy for people to drop in.

Now in its sixth year, the day is a collaboration between local mental health services to reduce stigma around mental health.

Headspace manager Andrew Wenzel said there was a wide range of support services in Albany, which people might not know about or be too afraid to ask about.

“The hardest part for a lot of people in getting support, is knowing what is available and making that first step,” he said.

“We know that the rates of mental health issues are high in the country, and we know that often people feel like because we are in the country we don’t have services available.

“We want to get people to exercise early intervention so that people come in early and ask for help rather than waiting until it is too bad.

“This is done in a way that doesn’t stigmatise and in a fun event. This kicks Mental Health Week off in a way that will help bring all of the services in the Albany community together in a free event so that anyone can come along.”

An expected 20 mental health services will set up stalls in the Town Square with information about what they do.

There will be live music, and of course, a mad hat competition.

The Mad Hatter Tea Party runs from 10am-1pm on Tuesday, October 11.

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