Pool party for mental health

The event will be held at the Kingaroy Swim centre on 11 April. PHOTO: JESSICA MCGRATH

A fun pool party with a serious message: if you need help get help, here are the services.

Stomp Out Teenage Depression and Suicide at the Kingaroy swim centre on Monday 11 April 10 am -4 pm.

As we are all too familiar with, depression, suicide and mental illness are all too common throughout our communities.

Enter Matt and Ashie Vels.

Owners and operators of Living Hope community services, they are some of the driving forces behind the pool party that aims to stomp out depression and suicide among teenagers.

Matt Vels said that as someone who was raised in Kingaroy, he felt many kids in rural areas don’t get enough access to, or know about, some of the services that can help out.

“Teenage suicide and depression, have been rocking towns for a long time,” said Matt.

“We’ve had a few events in Kingaroy that’s mental health-related but not directed at teenagers.”

Matt said that after working in child protection for over 10 years he knows that there are all too many kids that slip through the cracks.

“Working in the industry, [child protection] I see a lot of kids that need that support, but others have the advantage of getting the services first… getting information [about services and mental health] to everybody is the goal, and to integrate that in a fun day with music games, prizes… that’s what we want to try and achieve.”

Matt said that for him what is exciting about the day is the opportunity to help and get information out, but for those attending it’ll be the vibes.

“The atmosphere, Snap Fitness will be running volleyball, Conquer Fitness are doing other games. There’ll be activities throughout the day, music, it’ll be beach vibes.”

This is not Matt’s first rodeo either.

Around the time he started his career he put on a similar event in Warwick called Warwick Winter fest.

“We had 300 teens rock up. I was in a band, we played along the coast. We took 8 bands back to Warwick and had different services go along too. It was great.”

While the event is geared towards people aged 12-25, they encourage anyone interested to come along.

If you want to know more you can find them on Facebook, email admin@livinghopecommunityservices.com.au or call 0447987859