Showbags filled with useful information

SHOWBAGS may not be what you expect to find at a free community forum on depression but you will find both at the Coffs Ex-Services Club at 6.30pm today.

Rotarians from Coffs Harbour City Rotary were yesterday filling bags with books, brochures and other useful information and contacts from depression support organisation, beyondblue, which will be given out to people attending the community forum to be used as a resource.

Forum co-ordinator Trevor Brentnall said if they ran out of the 'showbags' they would be taking names and supplying people with the information after the forum.

Tonight there will also be 14 stands manned by organisations and agencies providing information and support on mental health and carers' support.

The three speakers will be Dr Rick van der Zwan, John Brogden and Bea Ballangarry, representing sufferers, professional helpers and carers

The MC for the evening will be Dr Paul Moran, and there will be a question-and-answer panel consisting of the three speakers; two hospital representatives and a caring agency representative.

Depression and other mental illnesses are physical problems that should be considered in much the same way as diabetes or heart disease, according to psychology researcher Associate Professor Rick van der Zwan.

Doors will open at 6pm today for a 6.30pm start at the free mental illness community forum at the Coffs Ex-Services Club, hosted by Lifeline North Coast and the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City. For information contact 6651 4093.

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