Townsville residents are being invited to come along and learn how to keep on top of their mental health and wellbeing at a new expo being held this weekend.

Townsville City Council’s new Mentally Healthy City Wellness Expo is being held at the Palmetum Botanical Gardens on Saturday and will feature Saroo Brierly – the inspiration behind the movie Lion – as a guest speaker.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the expo is a fantastic opportunity to focus on the mental health of the community, particularly after the unprecedented monsoon.

“This new expo is a great way to bring our community together and start an open and honest dialogue about mental health,” Cr Hill said.

“We’re reaching nine months since the city was devastated by the monsoon and it’s important that we focus on the social and mental impacts that it has had on our residents.

“Townsville has signed on as Australia’s first Mentally Healthy City and we want our residents to have every chance to achieve their best mental health and have access to services when needed.”

Project Manager of Mentally Healthy City Townsville Brendon Marty said Townsville City Council has been one of the biggest supporters of the Mentally Healthy City Townsville Project from the start.

“When I approached the events team with the concept of bringing all the professional services and local wellbeing businesses together, they absolutely ran with it and made it their own,” Mr Marty said.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to improve the overall mental health and wellbeing of our community and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it. I look forward to seeing this grow in the coming years.”

Community and Cultural Development Committee Chair Cr Colleen Doyle said it’s important for the community to have easy access to services following a major disaster.

“We know that the Townsville community is incredibly resilient but it’s important that we put a spotlight on the services available for anyone that may be struggling with their mental wellbeing,” Cr Doyle said.

“This expo brings a number of services together that can educate and support the community in an idyllic and family friendly environment at Palmetum.

“There will be lots of entertainment in addition to the stallholders and there will also be a free shuttle bus operating from the major shopping centres and Riverway.”

For more information, visit: https://whatson.townsville.qld.gov.au/events/mentally-healthy-city-wellness-expo