The big blue bus visited a number of suburbs in the Sydney North Shore and Beaches Medicare Local (SNSBML) region in January 2015.
First stop was Manly Beach on a glorious sunny Sunday (18 January). The Beyond Blue team set up on the beachfront with SNSBML to talk to young people about healthy bodies and healthy minds. There were lots of fun activities on offer as well as details about uConnectHealth workshops, the new Medicare Local program supporting young people to negotiate the health system, access appointments, manage costs and patient rights and looks at youth health issues such as bullying, body image, binge drinking, depression, anxiety and stress.
Hundreds of people stopped by to pick up free Beyond Blue information and learn about the support available to them.
After a detour into Northern Sydney, the bus returned to the region with a visit to Pioneer Clubhouse in Balgowlah for a free community barbecue on Friday 23 January. That afternoon, the team set up at busy Chatswood Mall to chat with shoppers.
The following day, a number of members of Beyond Blue’s reference group – blueVoices – came along to Freshwater Beach for a picnic. It was a great opportunity for members to meet one another, share their experiences and show their peer's support.
On Monday 26 January the bus took another detour so it could attend the Yabun Festival in Camperdown. The annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures attracted thousands of people, despite the steady rain.
The next day, the team visited the Greenway Housing Estate in Kirribilli. A free barbecue was arranged by residents and the Beyond Blue team – including CEO Georgie Harman – were delighted to meet Greenway’s oldest resident. 106-year-old Albert said having a lovely wife (for 70 years) and the occasional glass of Tia Maria with lemonade had helped keep him in good health and good spirits over the years!
On the morning of Wednesday 28 January, with the rain still coming down, the team set up at Mona Vale Memorial Hall. They then headed for Westfield Warringah Mall in Brookvale where they teamed up with headspace Brookvale to provide info about mental health and staying well to shoppers.
The visit wrapped up with an early morning stop at Zenith Tower in Chatswood on Thursday 29 January. Dozens of workers stopped by the bus on their way into work to pick up free info and make a mental health pledge.
Thanks to SNSBML and all the wonderful services who provided support, as well as the communities who gave Beyond Blue such a warm welcome! Thanks also to Medibank Community Fund for their support.
View other stops around Sydney and the rest of Australia, and a gallery of National Roadshow highlights.