The elephant in the room will be the topic of conversations – in more ways than one – when Mental Health Week is marked in Altona.

The Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre will host a range of events during the week, which will run from October 7 to 13.

Counsellor and art therapist Mairead Ashcroft said an elephant sculpture had been made for the occasion by the Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed.

“This year, the theme is, ‘The elephant in the room’ … bringing to light that at any one time, one in five people in Australia will be suffering with a mental health issue,” she said.

“That means that everyone somewhere will know someone who’s suffering with a mental health issue in their lives at any one time, but we don’t talk about it.”

She said Altona’s Mental Health Week events would include art therapy, mental health-based activities, information leaflets and a counsellor on hand for information and referrals.

Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed mentor Colin Dyall said it was important to talk about mental health issues.

“We have quite a number of men that have suffered with mental breakdown and bipolar and other issues,” he said.

“I, myself, have had mental health issues in the past and I’m still on medication and I
think there’s quite a number of us in that position.”

The Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre will also host a community barbecue at noon on World Mental Health Day, Wednesday, October 10.

For more details contact the centre on 9398 2511.