Hundreds of Australian Defence Force personnel and Department of Defence public servants took time away from their desks to focus on mental health in Canberra.

To mark World Mental Health Day, they completed the five-kilometre bridge-to-bridge walk around Lake Burley Griffin. The event ended with a barbeque and music by the Royal Military College band at Russell Offices.

The Mental Health Day Australia theme, 'Do you see what I see?' aimed to promote mental health and wellbeing by seeing things through the eyes of someone experiencing mental health issues

The day encouraged solutions from self-care and early intervention to challenging perceptions about mental illness and looking at mental health in a more positive light.

In the lead up to Mental Health Day, Defence personnel were encouraged to take part in 'Let’s Chalk about Mental Health' events, where participants would use chalk to write messages on pavements and walls at selected Defence establishments to talk about and represent mental health messages.

Nicole McLachlan, Mark Holmes and Captain the Integra service dog "chalk" about mental health at Blamey Square, Canberra, to highlight the dedicated programs in place across Defence to support all staff. Photo: Jay Cronan

At Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane the day was marked with a presentation by Geoff Robins as part of the Mental Health Speaker Series, where mental health advocates discuss their experiences.

Mr Robins spent 25 years working in emergency services and health, where he provided support to co-workers and the community during natural disasters and other crisis.