Mental Health Week at Scarness

Ladies open up about depression at Mental Health Week launch

KAWUNGAN woman Leanne MacArthur wants those in the midst of depression to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The avid hobby photographer has picked up the pieces of her life and is now studying to work in human services.

She says helping those with the blues needs both a human touch and understanding.

"I am not my illness and it's been a lived experience for me which is why I know I can help others," she said.

"It can be caused by a brain chemical imbalance and everyone's brain is wired differently."

Leanne helped host a Richmond PRA stall today at the 2015 Mental Health Week launch in Scarness.

About eleven organisations came together to help raise mental health awareness to get the message into the community.

Leanne's friend Jessica Miralles, from Scarness, said life was like a battlefield.

"You'll get knocked down and you'll get punched, but you've got to get back up," Jessica said."Five years ago, hardly anyone talked about depression and now people are coming together and sharing.

BETTER NOW: Kawungan woman Leanne MacArthur and Scarness woman Jessica Miralles share their personal stories to help others deal with mental health issues.
BETTER NOW: Kawungan woman Leanne MacArthur and Scarness woman Jessica Miralles share their personal stories to help others deal with mental health issues. Hannah Baker

Launch co-ordinator Margaret Cooper, from Suncare Community Services, said anyone could be affected by depression.

"Younger people are likely to do something about it whereas the older generations tend to keep it to themselves," she said.

"Often isolation and financial stresses can hit some hard."

Margaret said service veterans from the Vietnam War and more recent conflicts could experience difficulties.

"Going to war is not just about fighting, it's also about the clean up operation and that needs to be considered," she said.

The 2015 Mental Health Week begins this Sunday and runs to October 11.

If you need help:

Richmond PRA: http://www.richmondpra.org.au or 1300 779 270.

Lifeline Crisis Chat: https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 13 11 14

WATCH: Suncare Community Services client liaison officer Margaret and Jessica Miralles talk about...