PEOPLE receiving treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues are being encouraged to “step outside the labels” in Warrnambool next month.
The Dual Diagnosis Advocates Group is hosting the Get Amongst It social inclusion event that encourages people with mental health and substance abuse issues to widen their social network beyond others with similar issues.
Dual Diagnosis Advocates Group spokeswoman Jillian Reid said the event would showcase healthy food, physical activities and fitness, spiritual and cultural information, vocational opportunities, support from government departments, community social groups and activities and programs for all to engage in to achieve optimal health and wellness.
Ms Reid said the social networks of people with mental illness and substance abuse issues were sometimes not in their best interest.
“Stigma associated with mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse can disenfranchise people from the mainstream community that can exacerbate their unhealthy lifestyle and choices,” she said.
“This event will highlight the support available for them and that we encourage them to be active members of society.”
One in five people will have a mental illness during their life and one in three of those will experience a related substance use disorder.
Ms Reid said the advocates group had been “blown away” by the enthusiasm of people from the wider community to participate in the Get Amongst It event.
The advocates group involves professionals from many services across the south-west and aims to ensure people who experience dual diagnosis, which is both substance use disorder and mental illness, are supported by all services.
Group members are from South West Healthcare Mental Health Services, including clinicians, consumers and carers, Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre, Aspire, Mind Australia, Department of Justice, Child Protection, Centrelink, Headspace and Brophy Family and Youth Services.
Get Amongst It will highlight the “no wrong door” philosophy that helps clients connect with the correct service.
Get Amongst It will run from 10am-2pm on October 10 at the Civic Green and be staged as part of Mental Health Week. It includes theatre, dance and music.