The Penrith Women’s Walk and Talk is charging ahead, offering a safe space for women to connect socially while exercising each week.
Inspired by the success of the Men’s Walk and Talk, which has been running for two years now, local mental health support workers Angela Lambros and Jesseka Flakelar decided to begin the event after seeing the positive impacts on the community.
“We did recognise the positive impact that it had for the men, and we just really wanted to create the same safe space for social connection for women,” Ms Lambros said.
“It is separate [to the men’s event], but they’ve definitely been our main support, even just doing a post about ours obviously reached so many women.”
The women meet every Wednesday evening for coffee and a walk along the Nepean River. Each week, a sponsor will donate money to buy coffees for attending women. Last week, their donor was Lindsay MP Melissa McIntosh.
“These types of connecting activities are really important for mental health and supporting each other, so I think it’s a great idea,” Ms McIntosh said.
Mental health issues are highly prevalent in Australian women, with one in six experiencing depression in their lifetime, and one in three experiencing anxiety during their lifetime. They also face high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.
Social connection is an important aspect of fighting mental illness.
The Penrith Women’s Walk and Talk meets every Wednesday at 5pm at Nepean Coffee Club and all local women are welcome.
Erin Christie is the Weekender’s entertainment and community news journalist. She has worked with Are Media, Good Reading Magazine and a host of other publications.