Parkrun marks milestone with special mental health event
EMERALD Parkrun is gearing up for its 100th run tomorrow and also for an event that is set to show a massive display of support for mental health services in the region.
Craig Drummond, organiser and one of the founders of the event, said youth mental health service headspace was facilitating this weekend's 5km run in an effort to raise awareness of mental health issues in Central Queensland.
He said he was expecting between 300-350 people to join in, and anyone who wore a white T-shirt could look forward to being covered in green powder - the colour representing headspace - which would be thrown out onto participants.
Mr Drummond said he encouraged all people to come and join in by walking, jogging or running the course through the Botanic Gardens.
"We've got the whole netball team who will be running as part of their training.”
He said he was hoping plenty of youth - from teenagers to young people in their 20s - would come and support the event as that is the age group that has been most affected across the region by mental health issues and suicide.
"We've had 18 suicides in the Central Highlands over the last year and this is why headspace has come on board.
"It's about making people more aware and this is what headspace is trying to do.”
He said through the Parkrun event, headspace wanted to highlight that it was important to talk to people about any problems a person might be experiencing.
"This is where you can meet and talk to people - just come along and the people that you meet are just amazing.”
He said there was a large group of locals in the 35- 55-year-old age group who joined in with Parkrun mostly to "socialise and have a jog”.
"It's just about getting people talking - strangers talking to strangers about life. It gets people out of their houses and it increases their motivation and their happiness.”
Mr Drummond said Parkrun was becoming renowned for how it was helping participants turn their lives around with improved fitness levels and weight loss in a non-competitive environment.
"The thing is to come down and take part. It's just a great atmosphere.”
About 30 members of the Emerald Runners group also attend Parkrun with their main aim being to encourage and inspire others.
"We run among the people and help them along,” Mr Drummond said.
"It's fantastic. Come down - it's not a race - come for a walk. I'm excited every time I go down.”
The run starts at 7am. Visit the website /www.parkrun.com.au
/emerald/ for more details.