Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Home of Healing Support; Mental Health Day a Chance to Celebrate Opening of a Magnificent New Facility for Sufferers

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Home of Healing Support; Mental Health Day a Chance to Celebrate Opening of a Magnificent New Facility for Sufferers

Article excerpt

IT was the most welcoming of places to visit; the smell of delicious home-made cooking in the air, a keyboard tinkling in one of the spacious rooms, an art studio in another, wide verandahs to stop and take in the sun, sparkling pool waters beckoning and a vegetable garden ripe and ready to be picked.

There are plenty of choices on offer in this new wonderful facility for Gympie's recovery-based service that offers friendship, support and information to people who experience mental illness or psychiatric disability.

Saturday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day and the last day of National Mental Health Week, a perfect day for Choice Support Service to celebrate the opening of its historic and magnificent new premises at 30 Lady Mary Terrace.

The official opening of Choice's new premises will be a grand occasion, and the general public are welcome to attend any time throughout the day's celebrations.

"It's been a project-and-a-half," human resources manager Robyn Phillips said.

"The (completion of the) building has provided us with the space to move all our services under one roof."

The building houses everything from administration offices to interview rooms and plenty of space for activities, including a gym.

"It's like a safe house. A home away from home where clients can come for activities and connect with the community," Robyn said.

Substantial renovation work was required for the building, that was constructed in the 1880s for William Smyth, the mayor of Gympie 1883-1884, and his family.

He had come to Gympie as an underground miner and eventually became director of the Phoenix Mine and the largest owner at the Gympie mining field.

The property was purchased by the non-profit, non-government service in 2008 with funds secured from the Queensland Department of Health.

Throughout the past year, major work was done to ensure the building was sound and able to meet fire, safety, disability and food preparation regulations, as well as provide sufficient office space and participant activity areas. …

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