Georges River Council has partnered with local schools and local, state and national mental health service providers, to offer a free virtual event series, encouraging you to 'Be Kind 2 Your Mind'.
Designed to raise awareness and support mental health in the current COVID-19 world, events will run throughout September and October 2020 and will speak to the challenges faced by infants, children, teenagers, adults and seniors.
Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene said that the Be Kind 2 Your Mind program forms part of Council's COVID-19 Safe Community Events Program and will cover a broad range of topics such as managing anxiety in children, supporting people with drug or alcohol addiction, and breaking down the stigma of depression through shared experiences.
"I am proud to launch Council's Be Kind 2 Your Mind series at a time when many people may be feeling like they need extra support," Councillor Greene said.
"This year has brought us drought, bushfires, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic and the series will provide strategies and tips to support our community and give them a place to connect.
"In a recent Australian study published in peer-reviewed PLOS ONE Journal, 78 per cent of
respondents reported that mental health problems had worsened during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"64 per cent of respondents identified raised stress levels, 62 per cent reported increased levels
of depression and 50 per cent experienced increased anxiety as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic. In March this year, Lifeline answered almost 90,000 calls for help, an increase of 25 per cent compared to the same time last year.
"It is also unfortunately evident that there is a strong mental health trend among young people in Australia. Tragically, suicide continues to be the biggest killer of young Australians and almost one-fifth of all young people aged 11 to 17 years experience high or very high levels of psychological distress.
"It's clear that we need to act now to address the issue of mental health in Australia and provide a supportive space and critical mental health strategies for our community.
"I would like to send the strong message to people struggling that you are not alone.
There is support available, there are people that care deeply, and I encourage people all of ages to tune into the Be Kind 2 Your Mind virtual events.
"Not only will you get tools to help yourself navigate the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, you will also learn strategies to support others - from children to seniors. Remember, we are all in this together," Cr Greene said.
Georges River Council is proud to partner with many national and local organisations to bring the virtual events to the wider community.
Supporting organisations include headspace, Black Dog Institute, Alcohol and Drug Foundation, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network, and 3Bridges Community.
'Mental Health in a COVID-19 World' will kick start the series on September 22, with Kristy Stewart, a clinician from headspace holding a Q&A session with Kogarah High School students that all students can tune into.
The next month will feature a range of virtual events with something for all ages.
Parents and their children can attend three 20-minute sessions targeted at mental health education for primary school students.
Young people will share their experiences with mental health and how they manage stress and anxiety, and tips will be provided to assist parents to understand young people's mental health.
A Q&A session aimed to assist seniors with access to mental health support will also be featured, as well as a week-long exercise program for the mind and body.
Other sessions will focus on suicide prevention, stress management and how to support someone with drug or alcohol addiction, including available support services.
Be Kind 2 Your Mind will also provide a range of free online resources at
https://www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/Community/Health-and-Safety/Mental-Health-Month, including short yoga and tai-chi classes, yoga, breathing and relaxation activities for children.
Residents are also encouraged to sign up to Georges River Libraries to access free online courses via Lynda.com including managing stress, mindful meditations and avoiding burnout.
Sign up at:
To access and RSVP to events in the Be Kind 2 Your Mind Series visit