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Craig Hamilton, a spotlight on mental health

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On the eve of the 2000 Olympics, ABC journalist Craig Hamilton was travelling to Sydney when he suffered a severe psychotic episode that he says changed his life.

The Hunter-based radio presenter and author was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and soon learned the importance of mental health.

On Tuesday 26 July, Mr Hamilton will share his experience in a free Mental Health Matters event to take place at Warners Bay Theatre, Baramayiba.

The event will be hosted by NBN News presenter Kate Haberfield and feature a short talk by Quirindi local Alirra Robertson who’ll tell her story and experience with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.

Reflecting on the episode Mr Hamilton says he has thankfully found the tools and strategies needed to build a healthier life.

“I had got as far as the train station, I had a media pass around my neck with ABC Radio on it and I didn’t realise at the time that I was manic,” he said.

“I was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and it’s something that I still live with to this day.”

Mr Hamilton, who has become a high-profile speaker on mental health issues, says he’s looking forward to sharing what he has learned with local audiences.

“Growing up in the Hunter, I feel like it’s my duty to reach people here and help in any way I can,” he said.

“Mental health is not something that should be overlooked. Together we can break down the negative stigma surrounding mental illness so we can normalise it within our community.”

Lake Macquarie City Council community development officer Emilie Wiggers is encouraging local residents to attend the event, which caters to an adult audience.

“Events like this are so important for members of our community, who have grappled with challenges brought about by COVID-19, floods and fires in recent years,” she said.

“It can be difficult to know where to start accessing help, so we’ll have organisations available on the night to answer questions and provide quick support options too.”

The event will be sponsored by Ramsay Mental Health. 

Doors open at 6.30pm with speakers to start at 7pm.

Tickets are free, but bookings are essential.

Craig Hamilton

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