"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses Mental Health Month and the One Foot Forward Challenge for the Black Dog Institute.
By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea
As the calendar flips to October, a month of real significance unfolds – it's Mental Health Month, and here in Queensland, we kick it off with Queensland Mental Health Week from the 7th to the 15th. This year's Mental Health Week theme, 'Awareness, belonging, connection,' underscores the importance of fostering a sense of belonging and providing a space for conversations about mental wellbeing. It's an invitation to unite, learn, and support one another on our mental health journeys. My plan therefore during the month is to use this column to raise awareness and understanding about mental health and wellbeing within our community.
This week, I wanted to give a big shout out to our team at IMPACT Community Services, who are committed to making a real difference during this Mental Health Month. We've taken up the Black Dog Institute's One Foot Forward Campaign, a challenge that encourages us to walk with purpose. This campaign is a step toward understanding, empathy, and support for the one in five Australians who experience a mental illness every year.
The One Foot Forward Campaign invites participants to set their own goals, be it 40km, 60km, 100km, 150km, or any distance that feels right to them. This symbolic journey reflects the real-life struggles faced by those living with mental health issues. By taking part, we not only raise awareness but also crucial funds for mental health research and support services provided by the Black Dog Institute.
I believe that our collective efforts can make a real impact. To capture the essence of our mission, I've asked some of IMPACT’s dedicated team members to share their thoughts on being part of this challenge:
Zoe Hastie: “I signed myself and the organisation up for this event because I want to help create a better future for those living with mental illness, including myself. There are still so many unknowns in mental health and the more research that can be conducted now, the stronger and more informed future generations will be.”
Amanda Ryan: " I am taking part because I have experienced mental health issues personally and don’t want anyone ever to feel alone and lost like I did and so am giving back to help support others."
To support our team and contribute to the cause, please visit www.onefootforward.org.au/fundraisers/impactcommunityservices and sponsor us. Every step we take, every dollar we raise, brings us closer to creating a society where mental health is a priority, and no one walks alone.
Join us as we put One Foot Forward on this journey throughout October, a month dedicated to improving community awareness and understanding of mental health and wellbeing. Together, we can make a difference—one step at a time.