Council to tackle Mental Health Week with free martial arts for young women

Council to tackle Mental Health Week with free martial arts for young women

3 August 2021

Southern Downs Regional Council will tackle Mental Health Week from a different angle this year, launching a pilot program which offers a fully subsidised self-defence course for young women aged 15-18 years.

While acknowledging there are many and varied approaches to dealing with mental health, Council’s new initiative recognises that checking in with yourself doesn’t come in a ‘one size fits all’ package.

For some people, craft, quiet activities or introspective moments are the best way to take time for mental health. But what about moving, making noise and taking up space as a way to make connection between your life and your needs?

Southern Downs Councillor Sheryl Windle said this year’s mental health initiative balanced and connected body and mind and she encouraged the region’s young women to take advantage of the free sessions.

“While mental health should never be neglected, Mental Health Week is a timely reminder to take stock of our wellbeing,” Councillor Windle said.

“Martial Arts for Mental Health is a free program designed to give young women the opportunity to engage in a martial arts course designed to mentally equip them with the strength of mind to tackle the challenges life may throw at them, in a no-stakes environment.

“I encourage the region’s resilient young women to exercise their emotional mindfulness with a martial arts workout this Mental Health Week.”

Council is now calling for interested participants to complete an Expression of Interest online at before 31 August 2021.

A Council spokesperson said the self-defence sessions will be private, safe and comfortable, with classes limited to five.

Participants will need to be able to commit to one session per week for eight weeks and be willing to give feedback on the instructors, course layout, program value and overall viability of future programs.

Martial Arts for Mental Health promotes the following:

  • Alleviating stress
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Boosting focus
  • Calling for introspection
  • Encouraging connection with body
  • Understanding personal safety

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