Dinner in support of Queensland Mental Health Week 2023
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
Graeme and I are honoured to be hosting tonight’s dinner in support of Queensland Mental Health Week, and we welcome you all most warmly to Government House.
Since Saturday, our State has been resplendent in purple and green – including here at Fernberg where we will again light up tonight – with more than 400 events across Queensland highlighting the value of “Awareness, Belonging and Connection” in building and maintaining positive mental health and wellbeing.
And, as the numbers of Queenslanders affected by mental health disorders rises, it is even more important that this complex issue is tackled by the efforts of many.
This evening you represent the strength forged by a multi-pronged response; harnessing the immense expertise, knowledge, experience and passion of diverse voices to reach more deeply and effectively into our communities.
This vital network of support not only provides practical treatment and assistance, but importantly, also encourages a greater sense of responsibility amongst Queenslanders to recognise signs of distress in others—or in themselves—and to take action.
This is the true power of togetherness—both in the way we approach the issue, and in the way our connections with others help relieve loneliness and social isolation—the detrimental effects of which were revealed so clearly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For this reason, I particularly applaud those here tonight who are working with the community-based organisations that provide safe and welcoming places for people to meet, talk and gain life-changing support—whether this be in the Defence Forces, in the disability sector, through working with young people, in men’s health, or by being a friend to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.
I also congratulate Commissioner Ivan Frkovic and the Queensland Mental Health Commission, for delivering another successful Queensland Mental Health Week, as I look forward to attending tomorrow’s Achievement Awards organised by Open Minds.
At Fernberg, we are proud to host regular bushland walks, in tandem with Health and Wellbeing Queensland, to promote the value of physical activity on mental wellbeing – in fact, we hosted a community walk just this afternoon – yet I know that the strong commitment to serve others is at the very core of your efforts, each and every day.
Please enjoy tonight’s special dinner, as our way of saying thank you—on behalf of all Queenslanders— for your unique and valuable contributions.