THE Rotary Men’s Wellness Campaign has landed in Port Lincoln at long last.
The exhibition, which features photographs of Eyre Peninsula men with quotes about how they stay mentally fit, opened on Saturday night to kick off the Mental Health Week activities.
The photos, by Rob Lang, are nothing short of spectacular and the quotes by the men who participated are sobering, uplifting and even humerous.
But this exhibition is about more than beautiful photos.
The exhibition aims to highlight men’s mental health, educate and inform men about resources available, and to start conversations about finding a way to stay mentally fit and it also does much more than that.
In today’s story on the Port Lincoln launch of the exhibition on page three, one of the men who took part, Shayne Callis, said a few years ago men would not have dreamed about talking this openly about their mental health.
Men are often considered a ‘hard to reach’ demographic when it comes to mental health resources because, for any number of reasons, they are reluctant to seek help and societal stigmas have no doubt played a part in this.
However, thanks to efforts like this campaign, and basically all the hard work of Mentally Fit EP and West Coast Youth and Community Support, the Eyre Peninsula may well have a generation of young men who never feel that way.
In fact the campaign goes a long way in making sure men of all ages know they are welcome to speak about their mental health and encouraged to do so.
It is because of work like this and the bravery of local men that the whole community is able to talk about mental health the same way it talks about flu season or sporting injuries.
The campaign delivers the message that these conversations are welcome and they are supported, and that there are resources available to help.
But the exhibition is just one of many events planned for Mental Health Week which runs until October 13.
This year’s timetable will be the fifth Mental Health Week timetable put together for the region, showing not only how far the region’s communities have come but its commitment to building a truly mentally fit Eyre Peninsula.