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Increased awareness of mental health and its impact on people and communities has been an important beacon of hope throughout this tumultuous year. In response to sustained increases in demand for services, stakeholders including governments, schools, community organisations and their funding bodies have been more open to different ideas than ever before. For Iris Foundation, this has meant forming new partnerships, testing fresh initiatives and responding quickly to meet evolving community needs.
We are pleased to share some of our recent work to foster resilience in the Central Coast community.

Debbie Gaunt Foundation launched

Iris is proud to support a new local not-for-profit, the Debbie Gaunt Foundation. Launched on World Mental Health Day (October 10), the Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to better understand the mental health impacts of perimenopause – the transition during which a woman’s body prepares for the end of her reproductive years.
Founder Craig Gaunt was spurred to action after losing his wife Debbie to suicide last year. Debbie became severely mentally unwell shortly before her death, an episode that has been partially attributed to the hormonal effects of perimenopause.
The Gaunt family has since contributed $20,000 toward a comprehensive online course for doctors about women’s health. The immediate priority of the Debbie Gaunt Foundation is to raise a further $24,500 to assist finalisation of the midlife module of this course. The module will address perimenopausal depression, menopause and hormone replacement therapy, complex trauma disorder in perimenopause and family violence.

To find out more about the Debbie Gaunt Foundation, and about the often-challenging effects of perimenopause on women’s health, click here or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DebbieGauntFoundation

Fundraising with a twist

Evolving social distancing measures have made fundraising especially challenging in 2020. Iris Foundation is fortunate that our fundraisers have found some unique and wonderful ways to support us.

In September, the team at Hotondo Homes Central Coast put a new spin on a traditional fundraiser – hosting an online mystery raffle. The idea proved irresistible to many locals, with more than $1,000 raised in support of Iris Foundation resilience programs currently running in local schools.

La Carta Art Gallery Café at Wyong has kindly hosted two high teas, auctioning off beautiful art works in support of Iris Foundation. Owners Silvana and Robert are long-time supporters, so be sure to stop by and sample their homemade Italian food!

Speaking of tasty treats, the aptly named Sunshine Gifting Co. will now offer the popular ‘RUOK?’ cookie range on a permanent basis, with all profits donated to Iris Foundation. click here to buy cookies for a cause.

Thank you to all involved for their invaluable support.

 

CBWN supporting small business owners

October is NSW Small Business Month, with many activities moving online this year. Since tough trading conditions likely to continue for some time, the mental health of small business owners is more important than ever.
The Community and Business Women’s Network continues to provide a forum for local women to find support, inspiration, friendship and professional connections. This month’s luncheon at the picaresque Entertainment Grounds in Gosford has sold out, but there are several upcoming opportunities to connect (safely) in person or online. To find out more, click here or www.facebook.com/cbwncentralcoast.

Iris Foundation has also remained in close consultation with our community partners as they continue to assess the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

For now, the board and staff of Iris Foundation extends our best wishes to our supporters and their loved ones. Stay safe, healthy and connected.

Help us reduce the risk of suicide

To make a tax-deductible donation in support of mental health on the Central Coast, click here.

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