Hats off to Geraldton Rotary clubs for mental health awareness

Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Rotary Club of Geraldton-Greenough member Peter Moore at last year’s Hat Day event in Geraldton.
Camera IconRotary Club of Geraldton-Greenough member Peter Moore at last year’s Hat Day event in Geraldton. Credit: Supplied, Adam Poulsen

If you see lots of people sporting peculiar headwear in Geraldton tomorrow, there’s a good reason for it.

Tomorrow is Hat Day, a Rotary initiative to raise awareness of mental health issues.

This year, Geraldton’s three Rotary clubs have again joined forces to organise a fundraising breakfast at the foreshore.

Organiser and Rotary Club of Geraldton-Greenough member, Grant Woodhams, said everyone was welcome to come along – and encouraged to wear their most ludicrous hat.

“While it’s a Rotary event, it really is about everybody in the community who has a story to tell or can provide a service around mental health awareness,” Mr Woodhams said.

“It provides the opportunity, almost in an anonymous way, for someone to come along and say ‘look, I’ve got some issues’, or ‘my wife has, my son has, my father has’.

“Those agencies will be there to provide support.

“We’ll cook breakfast – sausages, bacon, eggs, orange juice – and we’ll sell that for $10 and all the proceeds will go to Rotary’s lifting the lid program.”

Mr Woodhams said service providers and agencies were welcome to attend and hand out literature.

Several guest speakers will talk informally about their own experiences with mental health – be it personal battles or otherwise.

They will include Geraldton sporting stalwart Adrian Bartlett, who will discuss the benefits of physical pursuits in maintaining a healthy mind.

Performance artist Phil Donkin will also make an appearance.

“He’ll bring his canvas along and splash paint around, do a painting, and we’ll try to auction it off for a bit of fun,” Mr Woodhams said.

Though Hat Day is held around the world on October 10, it is happening early in Geraldton to avoid conflicting with other Rotary events.

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