The big blue bus arrived on the Sunshine Coast at the end of Mental Health Week 2014.
First stop was headspace Maroochydore on Saturday 11 October for their annual ‘Hootenanny’. More than 1000 people enjoyed the live music, market stalls, art workshops, jumping castle, photo booth, dancers, sausage sizzle and outdoor screening of Disney movie Frozen at the twilight gathering. The bus was centre stage for entertainment and many picked up a Beyond Blue showbag at the event.
On Monday 13 October the bus headed to Gympie. The Sunshine Coast Medicare Local and a number of mental health service providers set up information stalls around Gold City Centre Stage, with live music and the InterAct Youth Theatre keeping passersby entertained. With the challenge issued to Gympie to take part in Australia’s biggest ‘selfie against stigma’, more than 100 locals united to take a stand against stigma and discrimination (see photo gallery for the selfie snap!).
The bus then departed for the small town of Kilkivan to catch students at the P-10 State School before the end of the school day. The 100 pupils rotated in classes through the bus and learnt about the importance of looking after their mental health and the Brave program.
The following day the bus returned to Gympie for a Carers Week 'Hats off to carers' community expo. Over 40 service providers and hundreds of people from the community visited the showgrounds for the free event. That afternoon, the team made a visit to James Nash State High School in Gympie. Beyond Blue’s Lachlan Kent presented to more than 200 Year 10 students about depression, anxiety, keeping well and how to help a friend.
On Wednesday 15 October the big blue bus visited Nambour. The team set up outside Nambour Plaza and spoke to many people seeking information about depression, anxiety and where to get help for themselves or a loved one.
That evening, the team attended a workshop for health professionals organised by the Sunshine Coast Medicare Local. Led by facilitator Dr Matira Taikato (Clinical Director Mental Health Service, General Adult Psychiatrist Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service) the session was attended by local General Practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals and covered diagnosis, management and specialist referral.
On 16 October the bus travelled to Maleny for a free community barbecue at Tesch Park. Dozens of locals took the opportunity to come down and pick up free Beyond Blue resources and enjoy a social sausage sizzle.
The visit to the Sunshine Coast Medicare Local wrapped up at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Friday 17 October. Students were encouraged to make a mental health pledge and Federal Member for Fisher Mal Brough MP and Sunshine Coast Medicare Local CEO Pattie Hudson also came down to chat to students and staff at the uni.
Thanks to the wonderful communities who gave Beyond Blue such a warm welcome! Thanks also to Medibank Community Fund for their support.
View other stops and gallery of National Roadshow highlights.