Health professional Paul Sekfy is welcoming the public to a mental health expo next month in Nambucca Heads.
Health professional Paul Sekfy is welcoming the public to a mental health expo next month in Nambucca Heads. Graeme Singleton

Mental health expo for Nambucca

MOST people in the Nambucca Valley are unaware of the mental health services available to them.

So the Family and Community Information Centre is holding a mental health expo to promote local services.

The expo will be held at the Nambucca Entertainment Centre on Thursday, August 2.

Paul Sekfy from the Family and Community Information Centre said the expo will introduce people to the range of support and specialist services available in their community.

"Most of the support for people with mental health needs come from the community," he said.

"The expo aims to raise awareness of the various dedicated services and support networks available to people in the Nambucca Valley."

One in five Australians will be affected by a mental health issue at some time or other.

This may range from common conditions such as depression or anxiety through to more serious conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

"Family members and carers need to learn about mental health conditions, how they can assist people in need as well as find out about mental health support available in the area," Sekfy said.

"People needing mental health support can see a doctor and get a referral to a specialist.

"They are then eligible to visit a specialist such as a psychologist for a six week period and after that they basically have to rely and family and friends for support.

"This system doesn't always work for young people and there is really no specialized local support for them in the Nambucca.

"It's difficult to get to Headspace in Coffs Harbour, so we need to provide information and support to schools, parents and generalist local services to better use what processes are available locally."

The mental health expo will start at 3pm and finish at 7pm.

There will be a range of exhibitors as well as speakers from various organizations covering mental health issues.

Representatives from these organizations will be there to talk to community members about all aspects of mental health and provide written information.

Music and low cost food will be provided for the event which is hoped to draw many residents of the region.



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