In November 2021, the Penola Wellness Group hosted an event where we were fortunate to have members from the Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation (BMHRF) make a presentation to over 100 people in our Penola/Coonawarra community.
We were amazed by the ground-breaking research that they were accomplishing for mental health issues. BMHRF have identified that mental health concerns are growing at an alarming rate, with existing services unable to slow the growth of mental illness.
Prompted by the desire to raise awareness, and to help support the BMHRF, we decided to host a major fundraising event and hence, the inaugural Coonawarra Running Festival emerged in 2022. Our mission is, “together we can make a difference to mental health in our community”. Unfortunately, mental health problems are not discriminatory, and a large percentage of our community will be impacted in some way. Our first positive move is that BMHRF have offered Mental Health First Aid workshops to our community. These workshops will be free of charge to anyone who is wanting to participate from money raised through the running festival.