MLHD hosts drive-in movies for mental health

To commemorate Mental Health Month this October, the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) is hosting drive-in sessions of the Disney movie ‘Inside Out’ for residents across the Snowy Valleys.

Tumut Community Mental Health and the MLHD Bushfire Recovery Clinicians are hosting five drive-in movie events where participants can experience a normal family outing in a Covid-safe way and are enabled to tune in to the resources and services in their community that can support them, their friends and families to stay well during this difficult time and build long term resilience following the extreme bushfire event this year and the pandemic.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Month is TUNE IN, encouraging people to ‘tune in’ to themselves, their community and the effect of mental health and stigma.

Anna Dunbar from Tumut Community Mental Health said that a peer worker from her team wanted to do something special for Mental Health Month, so they teamed up with the Bushfire Recovery Team to make the drive-in movies a reality.

She acknowledged that there haven’t been very many community events this year, when the region would normally have a lot going on even through winter.

“Part of [the drive-in movie event] is just to have some fun doing something they haven’t been able to do for an age, just getting out of the house and going and doing something a bit special,” Ms Dunbar said.

“The other part is remembering that you are part of a community, even though it’s been a bit more difficult to feel like that in the current conditions.”

Ms Dunbar said that the focus of Mental Health Month is to promote mental health in the wider community, and also reduce stigma by talking about the more serious mental illnesses in an open way.

“It’s mental health promotion and education at the same time,” she said.

Mental Health Month features a new overarching theme every few years, with a specific focus selected for each year. Ms Dunbar said that this year’s theme of “being tuned in to yourself [and] being tuned in to your community” is particularly apt for 2020.

“People just hunker down and try and survive and forget that you actually have to do a little bit more to look after yourself when things are really difficult like this,” she said.

Those attending the drive-in movies will arrive by car and be given a ‘show bag’ of resources. The MLHD will be using parking marshals to ensure appropriate distancing between cars and Covid marshals to manage use of facilities during the event.

Each event only has 50 tickets to admit one car with up to five people.

The dates and locations for the events are:

Friday October 16 – Talbingo “The Oval” (tickets from Talbingo Supermarket)
Saturday October 17 – Tumut Showground (tickets from Sounds of the Mountains)
Friday October 23 – Batlow Showground, RV Parking area (tickets from Anglicare office)
Saturday October 24 – Tumbarumba Pony Club (tickets from PRD Real Estate)
Saturday October 31 – Adelong Hockey Field (tickets from Community Health)