KINGS Parade was filled with the sound of drums on Wednesday afternoon as a flash mob converged to draw attention to Mental Health Awareness Month.
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The drumming flash mob is an annual occurrence, but this was the first time it had been able to be held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was organised by Bryan Billington, of Bathurst Community Mental Health, who arranged for people to meet in the central park and make some noise with the drums.
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After a few drumming exercises, people were encouraged to stick around for a casual chat and to find out more about the mental health support services available in the community.
Mr Billington also shared an important message about taking care of your own mental health and looking out for the people around you.
"People ask you how you are and it's quite easy to say that you're okay, but just look out for little signs that people may not be okay even if they say they are," he said.
"There's plenty of support out there."
He said that people can start with their general practitioner (GP) if they are not feeling like themselves, or there are other agencies and call centres to reach out to.
Speaking to the Western Advocate, Mr Billington said he was pleased to see the number of people who participated in the flash mob on Wednesday.
"It's been a couple of year's since we've done it, so I put the word out, just let people know that it's on and crossed my fingers and hoped people would turn up and hoped the weather was fine," he said.
"It's been a really nice day and we've had a great turnout."
The drumming created a fun and relaxing atmosphere in Kings Parade, making it easier for people to reach out for help.
"I've been doing these groups for about five years and it's just amazing to see, without using words, some people can communicate a lot better and show their emotions through the drum," Mr Billington said.
The flash mob was one way to spark a conversation about mental health, and it's hoped that people keep that conversation going, not just during Mental Health Awareness Month in October, but all year round.
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