Our annual Hat Day Meeting was held on the 12th October (which is during Mental Health Month).  Our guest Speaker was Kim Millard who is employed as a registered nurse for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Liaison at Bowral and District Hospital.  She is based in the children's ward and her target age group is 12 to 17-year-olds.  Kim was employed thanks to nearly 12 months of fundraising from the BDCU Children's Foundation.  The foundation pledged an ongoing financial commitment to keep her position at the hospital.
Kim spoke to us of the positive impact that her work has in keeping young people in the area for treatment.  Rather than being quickly transported to Campbeltown Hospital, many children and adolescents with mental health issues can now be triaged, assessed and treated at Bowral Hospital.  This assists in targetting treatment and reduces the strain that travel distances can cause families.
It was great to have fresh feedback from Kim and to hear her experiences and insights into the mental health of our local youth.
Rotary Hat Day is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health which is one of the largest not-for-profit funders of mental health research in Australia.  100% of the money raised during this year's Hat Day campaign goes directly to research helping the one in five Australians affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and many other illnesses.  More information of what Rotary Health does is available by following this link https://australianrotaryhealth.org.au/mental-health/