Thinking Out Loud for Mental Health
  • Monday 27 June 2016

Recent research indicates that one in four young Australians currently has a mental health condition, and our youth identify mental health as a more important issue than the environment, education and employment.

To help make inroads in this complex issue, Sunshine Coast Council is supporting the Thinking Out Loud mental health conference at Mooloolaba TAFE campus from June 30 – July 1. Leading corporate speaker and educator Colin James has been engaged as the key note speaker for the event and will also facilitate targeted workshops.

Economic Development and Innovation Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said the two-day event aims to attract service providers and specialists in mental health as well as mental health students and community members.

“This inaugural event is designed to share ideas, voice opinions, be inspiring and significantly contribute to our region’s future mental healthcare. It will also offer capacity and skills building to local businesses to enable them to be better prepared to work within the new mental health framework,” Cr Robinson said.

“Depression in the workplace costs the Australian society $12.6 billion per year in lost productivity and employees who suffer depression and don’t get paid sick leave incur a total of $85 million per year in absenteeism costs.

“So clearly from a productivity and employment perspective alone, we need to find ways to improve our understanding and treatment of mental illness and so events like Thinking Out Loud are an important step towards this.

“Council is very pleased to support this event as a collaborative partner and will be presenting important information about our Social Strategy at the Health Professionals Masterclass during this event.

“Recognised as one of the keys to future employment and economic growth under the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033, Health and Wellbeing is the Sunshine Coast’s largest employer and fastest growing industry.

The Mental Health Fusion organising committee including Sunshine Coast Council, Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN (the PHN), TAFE East Coast, Partners in Recovery, Minds Alive (Uniting Care Community) and Community Solutions have worked to establish this revolutionary conference.

Sunshine Coast General Manager for the PHN, Ms Kath Thompson said up to 200 attendees were expected, including health professionals, people living with mental illness and their carers, and members of the community.

“There will be a series of workshops over the two days that cover a broad range of topics including the future of mental health care, peer engagement, caring for carers and early interventions for young people,” she said. 

“A masterclass will also be held for health professionals around the new services at the Sunshine Coast Hospital as well as council’s social strategy and a range of other important topics.”

For more information or to register for the Thinking Out Loud mental health conference, visit council’s online Events Hub.

*Statistics courtesy of Beyond Blue