‘It’s okay to not be okay’: Mandurah worker speaks out on mental health stigma

Push for change: Mental health worker Rebecca Reddick wants to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in Mandurah. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.
Push for change: Mental health worker Rebecca Reddick wants to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in Mandurah. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

A Mandurah mental health worker is speaking out to break down the stigma surrounding support programs and to let the community know "it's okay to not be okay". 

Rebecca Reddick, who coordinates the Chorus UCook program, said it was okay to ask for help if you need support. 

“We have to wear this face all the time that things are going fine, when sometimes you need a helping hand,” she said. 

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“People are going through a number of circumstances in life and there shouldn’t be a stigma around seeking support.

“You might have moved to Mandurah from another country and feel isolated and want to meet some new people.

“We all need support and it is okay to not be okay.”

Ms Reddick said she helped Mandurah people on their mental health recovery journey through the year-long holistic program, teaching different skills including music, art therapy and cooking. 

“We don’t tell them what recovery looks like, we let them decide,” she said.

“It could be something as simple as coming to a cooking group once a week, or having a coffee in a café, right through to gaining employment.”

Ms Reddick said her clients had forged special friendships. 

“We have two lovely ladies who catch up regularly for coffee,” she said.

“It’s about creating that support network where they can call and say ‘I am not having a good day today, let’s do something’.”

A cooking course has recently wrapped up where clients learnt how to create easy, cheap and nutritious food. 

Participants also learnt budgeting, meal planning and goal setting. 

Ms Reddick said the group was gaining interest for an upcoming 12 week course on up-cycling. 

“They will learn how to turn old things into new,” she said. 

The program operating out of Ability Arts Centre is diverse, accepting people of all ages and backgrounds. 

There are a number of ways to join the program including self-referring and inquiring with your GP. 

For more information on the program email phams@chorus.org.au.