The big blue bus rolled into Wagga on Friday 13 February, 2015.
First stop was the free Twilight by the Lagoon concert at the Wollundry Amphitheatre. Hundreds of people enjoyed being serenaded by the Riverina Chamber Orchestra Collective ahead of Valentine’s Day. Many people also took time out to visit the bus and pick up free Beyond Blue information.
The next morning, the bus was back by the lagoon for the Wagga Farmers Markets. Again, many people took the opportunity to chat with the Beyond Blue team and find out about support available for depression and anxiety.
That afternoon, the bus headed to Lockhart. The lovely ladies at the Red Cross made a delicious afternoon tea for the stop out the front of the Lockhart Shire Council Chambers. Locals and passersby stopped in for a quick cuppa and chat.
On Sunday, the team set up at Narrandera’s Lake Talbot Swimming Pool. With the temperature reaching the mid-30s it was the perfect place to relax and connect with the hundreds of people escaping the summer heat.
On 16 February, Memorial Park in Griffith hosted the bus. Students from Griffith High School, Marion Catholic College and Wade High School came down to learn about mental health and staying well and the wider community enjoyed the free barbecue cooked up by Griffith Rotary Club.
The following day, students at Ungarie Central School enjoyed a free pancake breakfast when the bus visited. Students made mental health pledges and painted words of wellbeing on a giant canvas.
The team then hit the road to Temora, speaking to health professionals and community workers at the Temora Picture Theatre before heading to the Temora Pool for a pool party that night. Despite the rain, dozens of young people enjoyed the indoor pool, DJ entertainment and free sausage sizzle.
The visit to the Murrumbidgee Medicare Local region wrapped up on Wednesday 18 February with stop in Boorowa Street Young. A front page story that day ensured the whole town knew about our visit and many took the chance to come down and find out about the local support available to them.
Thanks to the people who gave Beyond Blue such a warm welcome and all the wonderful services who provided support – including Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Grow NSW, Wagga Wagga & Region Suicide Prevention Network, Wagga Wagga Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Team, Red Cross Lockhart, Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, Centacare South West NSW, Temora Community Drug Action Team, Temora Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Team, Temora Wellbeing Action Group and Toward Recovery. Thanks also to Medibank Community Fund for their support.
View other stops around Australia, and a gallery of National Roadshow highlights.