To help people get the information they need, the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) is hosting a free, public event on Tuesday 12 October. The Illawarra Mental Health Awareness Expo will for the first time bring together over 15 of the region’s support organisations under one roof.
Greater community awareness of services, broader access to information and facilitating personal contact with services will be positive outcomes of the Expo, according to Scientific Director of IHMRI’s Neuroscience and Mental Health research theme, Professor Brin Grenyer.
“This event is for anyone who wants to have the knowledge and information at hand to help others close to them now or into the future,” Professor Grenyer said.
Organisations attending the event will include Mental Health programs of the South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service, Mission Australia, Lifeline South Coast, Illawarra Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre, headspace and the Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Centre.
Visitors to the Expo will be able to ask questions of support services attending the Expo and take away information packs on mental health provided by BeyondBlue. The Expo will also host informal talks by three people who will share their story of mental illness.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to begin the process of seeking help for a family member or friend – we hope this event creates a comfortable atmosphere to make it much easier to get information about support,” Professor Grenyer said.
“We want people to ask the questions they might not have had a chance to before and to inform themselves as much as they can. This is the only way we’ll begin to break down the stigmas that remain attached to mental illness.”
The idea for the Mental Health Awareness Expo began with researchers in Neuroscience and Mental Health at IHMRI. This research theme includes laboratory research into mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, right through to clinical treatment and studies into depression.
The Illawarra Mental Health Awareness Expo: 4pm – 6pm, Tuesday 12 October, City Beach Function Centre, Wollongong.
Media contact: Amanda Morgan, IHMRI – (02) 4252 8228 / 0409 714 411
[The above release was prepared and issued by IHMRI which is a joint initiative of the University of Wollongong and the South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service]