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Townsville breaks world record in high-vis vests on World Mental Health Day

Ricardo Elizalde

Oct. 10, 2019

On World Mental Health Day , thousands of Townsville locals came together in a shopping centre car park to break a world record in support of raising awareness for mental health.
Organised by Mental Health Australia, locals rallied together to break the record for 'most people wearing high-visibility vests at a single venue' — and they were successful.
There were 2,499 people recorded wearing the high-vis vests, breaking the previous record of 2,136, held by the city of Kitakyushu in Japan since 21 October 2016.
Townsville City Council Deputy Mayor Les Walker said it was a great feat for the city.
"This city has got right behind it," Councillor Walker said.
"Football clubs, soccer clubs, dance groups and the army have come down and everybody has done their bit and today 2,499 dedicated people turned up to put Townsville on the map."
Photo Townsville has been awarded the world record for 'Most People Wearing High-Visibility Vests At A Single Venue'.
The shopping centre in Idalia where the record attempt took place was severely affected in the monsoonal event earlier this year; many of the stores closes and some needed to be rebuilt.
"It was only eight months ago that where we are all standing was under water and here we are months later, showing the world that we come together," Cr Walker said.
"We are strong, we are resilient and we respect those that have an issue with mental health.
"It's very important and it's been an emotional time today."
Photo Young and old alike turned up to break the world record.
CEO of Mental Health Australia, Frank Quinlan, said the world-record attempt idea came about to shine a light on mental health this World Mental Health Day.
"Once we toyed with the idea of shining a light on mental health, it began apparent that the high-vis vests were going to be a part of that," Mr Quinlan said.
"We also knew that many of the communities in Townsville, like mining communities, have many specific needs around mental health issues and challenges and some of those communities have been quite active in trying to address mental health issues.
"I think the story that Townsville has as well, about its recovery from the floods and the way the community has banded together to support each other plays a role too."
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