Mental health advocate to discuss memoir and raise awareness through Macarthur libraries

Sharing her story: Author Kim Hodges is bringing her story of severe depression and bipolar disorder to Campbelltown Library.

Sharing her story: Author Kim Hodges is bringing her story of severe depression and bipolar disorder to Campbelltown Library.

It's Mental Health Month and Kim Hodges wants Macarthur residents to know that is okay not to be okay.

The talented author will host a Zoom presentation though Camden, Campbelltown and Picton libraries to help de-stigmatise mental illness.

The free presentation will be held on Wednesday, October 21 from 1pm to 2pm.

As a university lecturer and mum of three teenagers with a stable home life, Ms Hodges didnt think she was the type of person who succumbed to mental illness.

"Mental illness doesn't discriminate and it affects around one in five people," she said.

"I wrote my book, Girl Over the Edge, about a five year period of my life where I experienced episodes of depression.

"I take people into what those episodes felt like, I take them inside a public health institution and a private health institution and how my mental health affected my family."

Ms Hodges encouraged locals to tune in for the free event.

"It will be focused on the contents of my book, de-stigmatising mental health and mental health during Covid," she said.

"Covid restrictions and isolation have been difficult for everyone but especially for those who are living with a mental illness.

"It's important to pick up the phone and talk with a caseworker or psychologist or even call a help line if you need to.

"Try and stay connected with people and your community."

Ms Hodges said it was unfair that mental health issues were not often talked about.

"If you were to break your leg you would talk about it," she said.

"If you have diabetes you can talk about it, but mental health issues still have this negative stigma attached.

"It is important to talk about it - in fact, I am inspired by young people because they aren't afraid to ask if you're okay or talk about their mental health.

"That is really inspiring to me."