New mental health service launched in Mayo

21 Jul 2020
Mental program

Posted October 19, 2017

A new mental health organisation, Moving A Head, was launched in the region recently with the support of the Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie.

Photograph: Moving A Head Chief Executive Officer Sandra Batistich, front, holds a model of her organisation's logo at its official launch. Sandra is pictured with Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson, Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie and members of the Mount Barker Men's Shed.

Moving A Head is a not for profit group providing early intervention courses for people experiencing depression and is run by Chief Executive Officer Sandra Batistich, an experienced counsellor.

The organisation was unveiled on World Mental Health Day, October 10, at the Mount Barker Men’s Shed.

“I wanted to launch the Moving A Head on World Mental Health Day and I saw this as a great opportunity to collaborate with the Mount Barker Community Centre and a local Men’s Shed, which does so much to enhance the mental health at a community level,” Sandra said.

“I was very proud to have our local MP, Rebekha, and Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson officiate at the launch and show their support for improving mental health services in their community.”

Rebekha said she was pleased to support Moving A Head and the choice of location was particularly apt given the positive mental health outcomes of the Men’s Shed movement.

“There is a real synergy between Men’s Sheds and Moving A Head as both focus on the connection between physical and mental health wellbeing,” Rebekha said.

“It takes great courage to step out on your own and start something new and so I congratulate Sandra on forming Moving A Head.

“I first met with Sandra in July when she came to my office asking for help finding funding for early intervention courses.

“I could see she had a real passion for this type of assistance so I encouraged her to start her own organisation, and deliver the courses she felt people needed, and I’m delighted that she has taken my suggestion to heart.”

Sandra has worked in the mental health industry for over 15 years or so, running her own private counselling practice in the Barossa for many years before moving to the Adelaide Hills.

“When Rebekha first suggested I start my organisation I thought ‘this is a bit out of my league’, but the thought would not leave me and so I started Moving A Head,” Sandra said.

“I become frustrated with the system and thought there has to be a better way of helping people work through their mental health issues.

“I wanted to focus on early intervention and so I designed 12-week early intervention courses for people who were experiencing depression.

“We know the importance of the chemical serotonin and how it is a “feel good” chemical but is often lacking in people experiencing depression.

“We also know it is naturally produced in our body when we laugh.

“Often depressed people don’t have much to laugh about so my courses use humour to address issues related to depression.

“I am extremely passionate about helping people live meaningful lives in spite of their challenges.”

Moving a Head is a not-for-profit association providing Mental Health Services within SA and is funding through grants and donations.

One of the courses is a 12-week program for men dealing with depression called Chuckle and Knuckle which aims to help people construct a “better Man Cave in their head”.

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