Jamie’s Ministry of Food helps lift the mood at headspace Woolloongabba

Food for your Mood is the focus of Mental Health Week activities at Headspace Woolloongabba, October 4-11 2015.  In partnership with Aftercare and Headspace and aiming to highlight the links between diet-related disease and mental health, Jamie’s Ministry of Food delivered a cooking demonstration to young people who have experienced a mental illness.  The demonstration took place at the Woolloongabba Headspace centre on Logan Road on Wednesday 7 October 2015.

It's estimated 50 per cent of Australians suffer mental illness at some point in their lives and several studies have suggested that diet quality is inversely related to depression in adults and dietary patterns are important predictors of depression.  So sharing the message of the importance of food and how it affects mood and overall health has never been more important. 

Jamie’s Ministry of Food inspires people to get back to basics in the kitchen and teaches people to cook from scratch with fresh ingredients. As Jamie says, teaching everyday cooking skills plus his hints tips and shortcuts make cooking fun which encourages people to spend more time eating home cooked food with family and friends which empowers them to take control over their health, happiness and finances. The benefits of Jamie’s Ministry of Food classes positively impact a participant’s mental health through increased social connectedness and positive social interaction as well as highlighting the physical benefits achieved through participation.

Jo, Headspace Woolloongabba Community Engagement Co-ordinator, “Many of the young people we see at the centre ask for information on eating the right foods.  We thought it was important to make the links between eating right and having a healthy mind and body which will have lasting effects for young people in the years to come and who better to do that with then an organization supported by Jamie Oliver!”    

Grant, eighteen, is one of the young people excited to be attending the practical cooking session and learning how to cook simple, fresh meals from scratch.  Grant has been recovering from a serious mental illness that has meant multiple hospital stays. While his recovery has been difficult, he has committed to getting well, as he now has to achieving his goal of becoming a chef.  “Being a chef is something I have wanted to do for a long time and now I am in a good place to learn how to do this.” 

Sam, a university student who will attend the event said, “Studying, working, limited income and short on time, often eating good food is the thing that I let slide, it is just easier to eat food that is fast and there. I am looking for inspiration and a reminder that eating good food isn’t complicated!”  Sam understands the connection between food and mood, having experienced episodes of depression.  “I know in those times when I am feeling down that it is more important to eat better, but it can feel too hard.  I want learn a few more simple recipes I can make that will give my mood a boost.”


Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking demonstration at Head Space aims to spread the word that cooking fresh food and eating for your mental health is not only stress-free but can also increase positive mood.  Jaime’s smashed peas and broad beans on bruschetta was on the menu.   


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