Mens Wellness campaign reaches Port Lincoln

The Rotary Men’s Wellness Campaign tour finished in Port Lincoln on Saturday night to help kick off the first day of Mental Health Week on the Lower Eyre Peninsula.

The collection of 30 images featuring local men from across the EP and their quotes on how they keep mentally fit will be on display at the Nautilus Arts Centre for two weeks.

Shayne Callis was one of the local men who put his hand up for the campaign, after he went to the doctors for what he thought was a stomach problem.

“They did all these tests before the penny dropped and they realised it was stress,”  he said.

“I didn’t know, I had no idea, so I guessed other men may not know either.

“It’s great, a couple of years ago we wouldn’t of dreamed of talking about it.”

Mr Callis said he wanted to raise awareness and that the feedback from other ‘country blokes’ had been positive.

On the night a few members of the community shared their own experience with mental health. 

Michael Traeger spoke about his late wife Kirsty’s battle with depression and the legacy she built with Mentally Fit EP.

Mentally Fit EP community development officer Lain Montgomerie said although the collection was originally to finish in Port Lincoln, Flinders University and other areas were interested in hosting it. 

Mental Health Week began on Saturday and will run until October 13, with Mentally Fit EP’s ‘Life is a Circus’ Gala Ball ending the week next Saturday night.

Mrs Montgomerie said this was the fifth year they had developed a community timetable to showcase the week’s events.

“It’s all about connecting time with family, fun with friends, exercise and creative expression as they are all vital for mental wellness.

“We make sure there is a range of activities for different interests and age groups,” she said.