People walked around Lake Benalla wearing odd socks last week to stamp out the stigma associated with mental health.By Kaitlin Thals
People walked around Lake Benalla wearing mismatched socks on Friday to recognise that anyone can experience an odd day.
Benalla mental wellbeing group Grow hosted a Walk for Wellness on national Odd Socks Day to help reduce the stigma behind mental health and to raise much-needed funds.
Grow region field worker Lindy Croucher said the day was about ‘‘stomping out stigma’’ and recognising that one in two Australians will experience mental illness at some point in their life.
‘‘It’s really very common, and one of the things that most prevents people from reaching out for the help they need is the stigma that’s still out there,’’ Ms Croucher said.
‘‘So, we’re just doing our little bit and pulling on our odd socks to stomp out stigma — because anyone can have an odd day.’’
Ms Croucher said the stigma attached to mental health issues could be eliminated by creating more opportunity for people to talk about their problems.
‘‘There could just be a lack of understanding in the broader community and people sometimes don’t realise just how common it is to struggle with depression or with anxiety, even just stress and burnout, or relationship breakdowns,’’ she said.
‘‘In the end we are the ones who have the power over our own journey, and can affect the most change, if we can discover those tools and strategies together.’’
Ms Croucher said anyone who was experiencing any sort of life issues could come to Grow.
Grow is a community mental health organisation with a 12-step program of personal growth incorporating the principles of mutual help and peer support. Grow’s program is holistic, incorporating principals for mental, social and spiritual growth. Grow meetings are anonymous and there is no charge for attending a group.
For more information about Grow in Benalla or Wangaratta phone 1800
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