With 5 simple messages, Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS) is changing the way their community thinks about mental wellbeing.
Good mental health is essential to living a happy and healthy life. When BCHS noted that 48% of adolescents in Bendigo lack skills in emotional control and over 50% do not have the skills to assist them in coping with stress, and around 9% of Bendigo adults reported that they experienced high or very high rates of psychological distress, they wanted to do something about it.
BCHS had taken part in many mental health campaigns, such as R U OK ? Day and Mental Health Week, but what was lacking was a campaign that not only raised awareness but also empowered the community in ways to stay mentally well. They found out about #5 ways to wellbeing - a campaign underpinned by evidence from the New Economics Foundation on five evidence-based actions, that if practised regularly, can improve personal wellbeing.
From May 28 to June 1 2018, BCHS hosted its first #5ways to wellbeing - five themes over five days of fun activities designed to remind the community why wellbeing is important.
- Day 1 – Take Notice:Videos were made of community members that are making a positive impact in their community.
- Day 2 – Grati -Tuesday: Schools and workplaces were provided with information packs, and organisations were encouraged to hold morning teas to talk about wellbeing.
- Day 3 – Learn: The team from Smiling Mind travelled to Bendigo to host workshops for teachers and businesses.
- Day 4 – Connect: Over 3500 cookies with the campaign themes were provided to engage people with the campaign.
- Day 5 - Be active: Culminated in a kid’s party.
#5ways to Wellbeing Bendigo successfully reached over 49,900 people and engaged with over 50 local businesses. Engagement with schools, workplaces and a range of businesses created a pathway for these organisations to continue to engage with BCHS. It also had other positive outcomes, such as an increase in workplaces registering for the Achievement Program, and more workplaces saying they will implement Smiling Mind.
#5ways to Bendigo has started the conversations and built the necessary momentum to inspire the community to make real, significant changes towards improving their mental health.
Let’s reframe the way we understand mental health and embed the #5ways to Wellbeing into our everyday routine.
For further information on the campaign check out their website.Submit your story!