Buy a waratah, support mental health in Macarthur

Brighten your day: Don't miss your chance to get a fresh waratah this week and support mental health resources in Macarthur. Picture: Simon Bennett
Brighten your day: Don't miss your chance to get a fresh waratah this week and support mental health resources in Macarthur. Picture: Simon Bennett

It's not easy to get fresh waratahs in October - just ask Cheryl Paradella.

The Beautiful Minds president has been hard at work sourcing the Aussie flower for the mental health charity's annual Waratah Day event.

"Waratah Day is held in October because it's Mental Health Month, and the essence of waratahs has been proven to help improve mental health," Ms Paradella said. "They're a very therapeutic flower.

"But it's not easy to get the flowers to sell. We have to bring them in from Melbourne because that's the only place with growers that have waratahs in October.

"There aren't as many waratahs as there have been in past years because of the weather we've had, and the drought."

Beautiful Minds volunteers sell the flowers for $5 a stem at stalls from Bankstown all the way down to Bowral, including many locations in Campbelltown.

Money raised from the Waratah Day sales goes back into supporting mental health recovery in Macarthur and the south-west.

"Beautiful Minds is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation raising awareness of mental health services in Macarthur, and supporting other non-government organisations and groups within the community," Ms Paradella said. "Waratah Day is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it allows us to run workshops and programs at our hospitals' in-patient units, and even pay for visiting therapists."

Ms Paradella said Beautiful Minds also provided things like clothing and other supplies to the acute mental health units in Campbelltown to help people who came in without any belongings. She encouraged all locals to stop by a stall on Friday, October 11 and buy a flower to show their support for the region's mental health patients, carers and professionals.

Stalls will be set up in local hospitals and shopping centres - including Macarthur Square, Campbelltown Mall, Minto Marketplace, Narellan Town Centre and more - and other select locations in the region.

Visit beautifulminds.org.au or call Cheryl Paradella on 0418 420 378 for more information.