The importance of mental health prevention in young children was the focus of a Kathleen Day Playgroup morning tea yesterday.
The Mental Health Week event invited parents and their children aged up to five to enjoy activities and guidance from Kalgoorlie-Boulder community nurse for perinatal and infant mental health Nicole Wade and Perth-based psychotherapist Gally McKenzie.
WA Country Health Mental Health Service regional manager Donnie Martin said the event was all about infant mental health and offering parents support.
Ms Martin said trying to prevent the development of mental health issues started with children.
“The more delight a parent feels in the child the more positive interactions between them, the better the relationship develops, which is better for the child’s brain development,” she said.
Ms Martin said it was the first year they had run the morning tea and thought it would be timely to host it during Mental Health Week.
The event saw about 30 mothers attend with their children and Ms Martin said it exceeded organisers’ expectations.
Ms McKenzie, who travelled to the Goldfields to share her expertise, said the morning tea had been interactive and mothers had been asking questions and were engaged during the information briefs. Kalgoorlie Centrecare also held an event at Kingsbury Park to showcase the available support services accessible in the Goldfields.
Centrecare were giving out free sausage sizzles and had information stalls set up along with other service providers Community Mental Health and Bega Garnbirringu Health Services.
Community Mental Health member Craig Crogan said Mental Health Week activities had grown exponentially in the past 15 years and helped in reducing the stigma attached to mental health.
“We are no longer called patients but rather are now consumers of a mental health service,” he said.