In a world where social media is so prominent in young people’s lives, suggesting they “swap snaps for chats” may seem a big ask.
But that tip, and six others, formed a realistic strategy shared with youth for headspace day.
The national day officially took place on Thursday, but the Albury-Wodonga branch celebrated the campaign last night at the recently-opened Albury Skating Centre on North Street.
Community development worker Bree Cross said holding it at the centre touched on one of the themes behind the 2018 headspace day campaign.
“Something like skating is a way to be active, but not in a competitive space, and it also brings in connectedness which is another of the tips,” she said.
“Getting enough sleep and nutrition – thinking about the link between mood and food and how a balanced diet can help with mental health – are others.
“We also want young people to be practising mindfulness, and finding a passion in their lives.”
Ms Cross said developing protective strategies for well-being was particularly important at a time when end-of-year exams could become an added stress for teens.
“We’ve got some yoga in the park planned in October that are beginner sessions, to help youth with rest management and hopefully to give young people a strategy they can use,” she said.
It was not only VCE and HSC students, but youth representing various age brackets who hit the rink on Friday night and got to know headspace youth reference group members.
Leanne McEvoy and her sons were among the crowd, who as keen roller-skaters were ecstatic when the Skating Centre opened in June, and were equally excited to skate for a good cause.
“It’s great headspace is there to bring awareness,” she said.
“I have friends who are dealing with mental health issues and my eldest son lost a mate of his in a car crash, so it was really important for him to know that he could ask his friends if they were OK.
“It’s particularly important that boys feel that they can talk about things like that.”
Ms Kerr said the night was a hit and depending on future themes relating to headspace day, the celebrations could return to the skating centre.
“We’ve tried to keep it relaxed and inviting,” she said.