23.8 C
Byron Shire
March 3, 2024

Healthy Minds Club powering ahead

Latest News

On Wallum

We seem to rely way too much on Byron Council and councillors to have the knowledge or expertise in...

Other News

Tintenbar-East Ballina face tough test to make LJ Hooker cricket finals

Tintenbar-East Ballina (TEB)senior cricketers face a stern test to make it through to the finals of the LJ Hooker first grade league after losing to Casino in their most recent two day-game.

First Australian made and owned rocket test flight coming…

Gilmour Space Technologies is looking to put Australia on the map when it comes to space flight with the first test flight of an Australian-made and owned rocket coming in a few months.

More recycled material for Lennox road improvements

Lennox Head's latest road resurfacing projects are benefiting from leading edge recycling technology, converting waste to useful new life

How to supply water to the increasing population?

It is predicted that the next 40 years will see the demand for water increase by 50 per cent in the local government areas that Rous County Council supply with water.

Lismore skate ramp on the move

Tomorrow the vertical skate ramp from Victoria Street in Lismore will be transported by road to Nimbin, to a private property.

Smith MP urges planning minister to call in Wallum

Yesterday the media gathered at the proposed Wallum development at Brunswick Heads as Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina, held a conference to urge the NSW planning minister to refer the development the federal environment minister.

The Healthy Minds Club
(L-R) Lachlan Jones, Taylor Sidney, Jackson Connellan and Eli Carr from The Healthy Minds Club. Photo supplied.

Since The Echo last spoke to Lennox Head’s Jackson Connellan, from The Healthy Minds Club, things have become even busier.

Formed originally in response to a series of mental health crises among local young men, The Healthy Minds Club now has over 500 FB group members, 1,300 Instagram followers and a growing real world presence which is extending beyond the Northern Rivers.

‘Yep, we’ve got a fair bit going on,’ said Jackson Connellan. ‘We’ve got a teenage mental health first aid initiative that we’re going to be running from July through to November. We’re looking to educate 1,200 students in the Ballina Shire, and it’s being funded by eight local businesses in the area, they’ve contributed $8500 to that.’

Mr Connellan explained that the next plan is to get mental health training implemented directly into the public school system. ‘The idea is to introduce a separate mental health program – not the teenage mental health first aid – but a program called ASK, and that’s delivered by Prevent Consultants. That’s our new workplace mental health consultancy company.

Jackson Connellan from The Healthy Minds Club at Lennox Head. Photo David Lowe.

‘It will be a more effective course,’ said Mr Connellan. ‘Instead of having to deliver it over two full days, we can go into workplaces or schools and knock it out in 2-3 hours.’

Spreading the word

When The Echo spoke to Jackson Connellan on the weekend he was about to head to Coffs Harbour. ‘Yes, myself and Lachlan Jones [co-founder of THMC] have just been invited to say a few words at a punk-rock-grunge concert that’s in the name of mental health, so they want us to come down there and have a bit of a chat.

‘The Coffs Harbour crew are all pretty keen on The Healthy Minds Club. I think they want to get a bit of an idea of how they can set something up themselves, and find the different resources they need to get going. So we’ll have a chat at the concert for about half an hour between a couple of sets, and spread some good messages.

Winning design from @jaz-adele-ink soon coming to The Healthy Minds Club merch near you. Instagram.

‘It’s a quite a different scene down there so I’m looking forward to it.’

But that’s not all…

On 20 June, The Healthy Minds Club have a BBQ beach social catch up planned, on Seven Mile Beach. ‘That’s at 8am, just near the beach access,’ said Mr Connellan.

‘Then the next thing is fully booked out, but on 26 June we have a community mental health first aid program we’re going to be running, so we’ve filled those 25 spots, but there’s still plenty of availability for those courses, via our Instagram. I think we have openings in August, September, October and November if people want to jump in on that.

‘Also we’ve got a free men’s yoga and meditation session on June 26 at 9.30am, and people can access that via Lennox Yoga.

What about Mate for Mate?

‘That was meant to be for today,’ said Mr Connellan. ‘It’s a fitness challenge where you put together a team of five and you compete to race to get to ten kilometres on different kinds of machinery.

The Healthy Minds Club surf competition. Photo Aviary Media.

‘We had to postpone that although we had four teams entered, due to injury with rugby and sport and whatnot, people had to pull out, so that’s been postponed until November.’

With so much happening, Jackson Connellan has had to give up his former tour-guiding job since The Healthy Minds Club became ‘quite intense’.

‘It’s pretty much a full time job now,’ he said. ‘I’m working on my own transition into the professional field, in mental health. The more I explore this kind of work, the more I want to help people, and the more time I want to commit to doing that, so it’s all really exciting.

‘I’m lucky enough now to be in the position where I can earn a living through facilitating the mental health, and continue to grow the charity, so it’s quite an exciting time for me. But there’s lots of work to be done!’

Are the other fellas putting in as many hours?

‘Not quite as many as I’ve been putting in, but they’re all still very active,’ said Mr Connellan. ‘There are eight of us on the board of directors now, and every single person’s active, although they don’t all have as much time to donate to the club as I do. But they all help in huge amounts in their own way.’

And is Coffs Harbour the furthest you’ve travelled for an event? ‘Yes, we haven’t been outside the Northern Rivers for an event before, so it’ll be nice to get down there. Maybe we can set up a Healthy Minds Club down in Coffs Harbour, or help them to get their own mental health resource down there.’

Jackson Connellan from The Healthy Minds Club at Lennox Head. Photo David Lowe.

Was that always the dream, to expand out across the country?

‘Yes definitely, that’s on the greater horizon for us. But we want to have a pretty good grasp on our own community before we go and put a lot of energy and time in setting it up in other communities,’ said Jackson Connellan.

‘I don’t think we’re very far off doing that, but there’s still a few little things we want to tweak, and really make sure it’s working here before we try and implement it somewhere else,’ he said.

You can follow The Healthy Minds Club on Instagram here, and apply to join the private FB group here.

The original Echo story about the club from 2020 is here.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron influencers

I'd love to know the fashion swimwear evolution for the Bundjalung people swimming at Tyagarah, 60,000, 50,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000, 10,000 and 250 years...

How would you stop koalas going extinct in the wild?

The strategy for koala conservation is currently under review and the community is being asked for feedback on the best ways to help NSW’s endangered koalas.

First Australian made and owned rocket test flight coming…

Gilmour Space Technologies is looking to put Australia on the map when it comes to space flight with the first test flight of an Australian-made and owned rocket coming in a few months.

Mandy gets back to a little virgin sacrifice

The virgin sacrifice is bak with Mandy Nolan bringing the Northern Rivers a new batch of comedy virgins coming to the stage.