“We have a lot of people who engage with us – people who run marathons, organise gigs and events, have bake sales, walk or cycle parts of the country to raise money for us and I’m really excited about finding ways for them to help us continue our work,” she says.
First day in the new role aside, Joanne is no stranger to the foundation. She first worked there in 2014 for a year before moving to Men’s Health. Since June 2016, she’s been working one day a week at the MHF. Her new role is five days a week.
“It’s an exciting time to come back. I think there’s less stigma about mental illness as time goes on and more people are willing to talk openly about their experiences, which is fantastic,” she says.
New events on the horizon
Joanne has a lot planned for the year.
“I’m excited to start new events like an annual gala dinner. We’re planning to celebrate our 40th anniversary, and we also want to start a big fundraising day, something similar to Daffodil Day or Red Nose Day, where we can raise money and awareness on a nationwide scale.”
One of her other fundraising goals this year is to expand the number of events that people can take part in to officially fundraise for the MHF, so people from all around the country can be involved.
As a charity, the MHF relies heavily on donations. While it does receive government funding for specific projects, there’s always a shortfall.
“We couldn’t continue the fantastic work we do to the same degree without donations from the public. It really makes a difference. We get inquiries every day from people wanting to help, which is great.”
Every donation matters
Joanne say every donation counts, from the $5 note they received once in the mail to large bequests in the tens of thousands of dollars. “Plus all the donations in between from people who give their time and energy to raise money and awareness for us.”
Donations come from a wide range of people, Joanne says. “We have people, young and old, who may have experienced mental illness, or people whose family members or friends have experienced mental illness and they want to acknowledge the importance of the MHF,” she says.
“We rely on donations to keep the foundation running. If the MHF is a charity close to your heart, please get in touch. You can take part in one of our events or simply make a donation.”