Billabong House celebrate World Mental Health Day with showcase of services

Not just hot air: Billabong House operations manager Michael Herden was working hard to break down the stigma while showcasing available services at World Mental Health Day on Tuesday. Photo: Peter Hardin
Not just hot air: Billabong House operations manager Michael Herden was working hard to break down the stigma while showcasing available services at World Mental Health Day on Tuesday. Photo: Peter Hardin

In typical fashion Billabong Clubhouse went all out for World Mental Health Day on Tuesday, inflating giant  hot-air-balloons out the front of the Clubhouse while a smorgasbord of local services were showcased out the back.

The day is the centrepiece of International Mental Health month, and Billabong House director Tanya Thompson believes that as a community we are on the right track to breaking down the stigma and offering the best possible range of services to those dealing with mental health issues, particularly praising what the NDIS has brought to the table.

“Mental health is an illness like diabetes, or any other illness,” Mrs Thompson said.

“It is very manageable if people get the right treatment and the right intervention at the right time, just like any other illness.” 

“We still find that some young people are too proud to admit it, and go and get help. Hopefully days like this showcase all the different services and treatments that are available to them and continues to break down the stigma.”

The Clubhouse were expecting over 400 people to the event, and by lunch they had already had “easily two or three hundred” come through the gates with more expected through the afternoon.

While the day was a fundraiser, with plenty of tasty treats available as well as live music, the main attraction was the 18 stalls, with services ranging from straight out mental health services, to disability, employment and education services.

“This is the third year we have been doing this and it is just great to see the amount of support we get from other service providers,” Mrs Thompson said.

“The NDIS is really bringing a lot of services out, and has changed the environment all together – there are more options and a lot more ownership of what services and what treatments an individual has access to.” 

Providing the live entertainment on the day were Shep Werrins, a local band made up of two of Tamworth’s most accomplished musicians in John Cunliffe and Lindsay Henderson.

The duo not only provided the day of entertainment for free, but also pledged to give all CD sales on the day from their album Sleepers to the cause.