Ruth Armstrong and Lesley Russell write:
Here’s a reminder that this coming Sunday we are hosting a #CroakeyGo event to spend some time walking together and talking about mental health.
As mentioned in our previous post, the Callan Park Hospital precinct, in Rozelle NSW, is a fitting setting for this event, because of its use as a mental health facility from the 1870s until 2008. We’re planning to explore a bit of that history, while turning our thoughts to the current state of mental health in Australia, and our hopes for the future.
The recent federal budget saw a raft of announcements about funding for mental health. All support worthy initiatives, but the overall need is great.
It’s worth reading this analysis from Dr Sebastian Rosenberg, who welcomes the modestly increased spend, but laments the continuing lack of “a coherent strategy of long term investment aimed at finally building the community mental health system to be a viable and realistic alternative to hospitalisation.”
We’ve allowed two hours for the walk and there is a lot to cover, so plan to arrive a few minutes early and, if you can, stay and continue your conversations afterwards over coffee at a nearby cafe.
Here’s what’s in store:
8.25am: meet near the parking lot at King George Park, Manning St, Rozelle (you’ll find us by the exercise equipment).
8.30am: Welcome and introductions, begin walking.
9.15am: Gather outside the Sydney College of the Arts building, in front of the marker (pictured), to begin a short historical walking tour of the Callan Park site, guided by Roslyn Burge, from Friends of Callan Park.
[If you’re running late, or not up for the hill between the waterfront and the College, feel free to join the walk at this point (enter via Park Drive, off Balmain Rd)]
10.30am: Finish and farewells, with an option to wander another 500m along the waterfront for coffee at Le Montage.
It’s predicted to be fine, but bring wet weather gear if it looks otherwise, as we’ll be walking rain, hail or shine. Dogs on leads, prams and wheelchairs welcome.
The area is well-serviced by buses, with the closest stop on the corner of Victoria Road and Terry Street (M50, M52, 500, 501, 502,504, 505, 506, 507,508,510,515,518, 520 buses stop here). You could also catch the 433 from Central station and get off on the corner of Darling Street and Victoria Road for a short walk.