West Tamar Rotary Club lifts lid on mental illness

LIFTING THE LID: West Tamar Rotary Club chairman David Annear will be present at the Riverside event. Picture: Stefan Boscia
LIFTING THE LID: West Tamar Rotary Club chairman David Annear will be present at the Riverside event. Picture: Stefan Boscia

The West Tamar Rotary Club is holding its Lift the Lid on Mental Illness event on Tuesday at the Riverside Shopping Centre.

The event coincides with the Mental Health Council of Tasmania’s Mental Health Week, and will see the Rotary Club raising money as a part of the Australian Rotary Health initiative on mental illness.

The group will raise money by selling a number of items, including fresh produce, teddy bears, stickers, pins, and raffle tickets.

In 2016, the group raised $1200 during the event.

West Tamar Rotary Club president David Annear said mental health is an issue too often overlooked in Tasmania.

“Nine Australian young people die every day from suicide – it makes you feel sick in the guts,” he said.

“A lot of people who have mental health problems, think it’s their fault, where a lot of the time it’s environmental.

“Environmental [factors] can be your work, your domestic situation at home, financial aspects, all different things can have an effect.

“We’re working very hard to take away the stigma of mental health.”

SAMPLE SIZE: A sample of some of the items for sale at the Rotary event. Picture: Stefan Boscia

SAMPLE SIZE: A sample of some of the items for sale at the Rotary event. Picture: Stefan Boscia

Mr Annear explained that all of the money raised during the Riverside event goes into a larger pool of funds collected by Rotary Health Australia. 

This pool of money is used to fund medical research into various mental health issues.

Australian Rotary Health narrowed its funding efforts toward mental health issues in 2000, with the group raising $3 million to the cause last year.

Since its inception in 1981, the organisation has donated more than $40 million to medical research. 

“Australian Rotary Health is one of the largest non-profit organisations in Australia that puts money into medical health research,” Mr Annear said.

“In 2012 it narrowed its focus to youth mental health problems, and putting money into research in regards to that.”

The  Lift the Lid on Mental Illness event will run from 7.30am to 5pm.

For more information on the club’s mental health initiatives, contact David Annear on 0408 352 041.

For mental health support, Lifeline is available 24/7 on 13 11 14.