Odd Socks Day – because anyone can have an odd day
FRIENDSHIP is a key ingredient to health and wellbeing.
On some Friday nights, Holland Park's Grow community centre on Logan Rd is open and full of activity.
The kitchen is an animated buzz of people heating up home-cooked Irish stews for a regular Friday night social.
Two evening socials are held every month at the centre, in addition to group socials, special events and more casual gatherings of friends.
Grow is a community-based organisation that provides a range of services to support people experiencing stress in their lives or mental health issues.
Peer support groups and self-development training are offered in addition to social opportunities.
The organisation contributes to community education on mental health and stigma.
In the lead-up to Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 and Mental Health Week in early October, it's important to remember the human need for social connectedness and friendship and to learn more about mental health issues.
As part of its educational role, Grow runs its annual Odd Socks Day campaign on October 2.
Any individual, group or business can get involved by wearing odd socks for a day and raising money for Grow to continue its programs.
It's easy to get involved and better to get organised early before October and Mental Health Week. To find out more, go to oddsocksday.org.au or call 1800 558 268.
Mental health advocate and Grow chief executive Clare Guilfoyle said society needed to stop treating those who have experienced mental illness differently and to encourage everyone to talk about issues.
"Very few of us are comfortable speaking about mental health, and yet it's so common," Ms Guilfoyle said.
"Stigma has a devastating impact on the lives of people experiencing a mental illness and their families and friends. It stops people from getting help and recovering."
The Grow Queensland Centre is also always open during business hours for any community members, neighbours or family to drop in for a chat or cup of tea. The centre is located at 1014 Logan Rd, Holland Park.
The three elements of truth, character and friendship form the basis of all programs that are free to anyone interested, and groups are held in a number of suburbs across Brisbane.
No referral is required to attend a Grow group and there is no assessment or diagnosis and no strict eligibility criteria.
For more about Grow, the community centre, support groups or program, call 3394 4344 or email email@example.com.