TAKING CARE: Kathryn Walton's interest in mental health started at a young age but her passion was ignited through her youth work.
TAKING CARE: Kathryn Walton's interest in mental health started at a young age but her passion was ignited through her youth work. Marian Faa

Kathryn Walton's journey to wellness passion

A SIXTH sense for noticing what was missing around her has led social worker Kathryn Walton on a proactive journey during her 30-year career.

She's brought unique techniques to the region, including adventure therapy, wellness retreats and workshops for working women to fill the gaps she sees.

"I have an eye for noticing for what's missing around me and taking actions to rectify it, whether in my own life or in the community,” Mrs Walton said.

She recalled an interest in mental health being present from a young age.

"During my childhood I always had an awareness of people around me who were stressed and not coping so well,” she said.

When she finished high school, Kathryn did not know where life would take her and, based on a friend's recommendation, she enrolled into a social work degree at the University of Queensland.

After graduating in 1989, Mrs Walton began a job in child protection.

Working in a foster group home with around six homeless youths, her perspective was rocked.

"It was tough work and it really opened my eyes to a lot of issues in the world I was oblivious to,” she said.

Mrs Walton made the move from Brisbane to Warwick with her husband and two kids in 1995.

After a few years of volunteering in community initiatives, Mrs Walton eventually started work as a counsellor at Assumption College.

"The role was unlike anything I had done previously: In Brisbane I was working with homeless youths but at Assumption it was more about supporting the school faculty with students who were struggling,” she said.

After seven years Mrs Walton moved on from Assumption Collegeand started her own practice, Kathryn Walton Consulting.

Through this practice she promotes taking care of the "whole wellbeing” by learning healthier mental and physical habits.

Her proactive character has kept her on the forefront of mental health action, pushing to keep people on top of their mental wellbeing.

"As I have grown older and had more life experiences, I have always needed to not just cope with life but to thrive within it,” she said.

"I don't think we should simply react to crisis, if we sit back we are only only sabotaging ourselves.”