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headspace Warrnambool is encouraging young people to slow down and take time to prioritise their mental health on headspace Day and mental health week.

headspace Day is on October 5 and is an annual national day of awareness about the mental health and wellbeing of young people, and the ways their family and friends can support them.

Leading on from headspace Day, is national Mental Health Week, held from the 9 to 17 October, that also focuses on raising mental health awareness and as a reminder to check in with family, friend’s and co-workers around your mental health. The theme for headspace Day is ‘Pause. Reflect. Reconnect’, and headspace Warrnambool is marking the occasion in collaboration with Brophy’s STOKED Program to provide young people the opportunity to come and try a range of health and wellbeing taster sessions.

The taster sessions will held from Tuesday 4th October to 12th October and include a games & pizza evening, meet the STOKED Team and surf session, beginner’s yoga and art therapy.

headspace Warrnambool Operations Manager Courtney Shiells says this is an important date for all members of the community but particularly young people and those with young people in their lives.

“Many of the young people coming to headspace tell us they feel busy, stressed and anxious about everyday life. The blur of mental and emotional demands can sometimes make life feel challenging.

“That’s when it can be useful to pause, to reflect on how you’re feeling, and reconnect with the people and things that make you feel good,” she said.

Young person Kate Myers from the headspace Warrnambool Youth Reference Group shared some of their strategies for slowing down and reconnecting in tough times.

“As a student, I experience my fair share of stress and pressure surrounding university and while also balancing my work, life and study.

“To balance this, my favourite thing to do is write a list of all the things I need to do, and slowly make my way through this list. This helps me to understand what is urgent, whilst allowing me to visualise my priorities. I also schedule time in the day for socialising with friends, family or housemates and try and combine this with exercise (eg: going for a walk with a friend)

“headspace is crucial in providing helpful strategies and support, which empowers youth to learn how to manage different aspects of their mental health. Additionally, headspace provides information through engaging resources, that are non-stigmatising.”

“I hope that the community uses headspace day and mental health week as a time to engage in activities that the amazing team and our youth reference group has put together. Importantly, this

day will provide all with the opportunity to learn more about mental health, in a collaborative and fun way. Kate Myers said.

We encourage any young person, family, or friends in need of support to visit their local headspace centre. Support is also available via phone and online counselling service eheadspace seven days a week between 9am–1am (AEST). The number is 1800 650 890.

If you are looking for someone to talk to immediately, Lifeline (13 11 14) and Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) are available to talk 24/7.