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Recently I have read many documents and articles about some alarming statistics about the impact of poor mental health in a broad range of segments of the Australian population and the world at large.
When are we, as individuals, families, communities, workplaces, social groups, states, private and public sector organisations, policy makers and holders of the purse strings at every level, going to take action that is sufficiently committed and large enough that we will see a shift in the mental health conversations, resources, services, policy and finances? Action that will dramatically improve those statistics.
I am on my journey to sufficiently raise my profile such that I can have a positive impact – particularly in the area of people being able to speak openly and comfortably about “mind health” or mental health issues.
Actions I have taken on an individual level include:
- I am willing to speak openly and comfortably to friends, family, clients and audiences about mind health issues based on my personal ‘lived experience';
- I shifted my focus on a business level to “Play Create Elevate” focussing on the importance of play and creativity as innoculators and antidotes to stress, anxiety and depression – recognising how many stressed, anxious and depressed people I meet in my organisational work;
- I went to Brisbane to be trained as Victoria’s First Black Dog Institute Community Volunteer Presenter and have subsequently delivered several presentation on behalf of the Black Dog Institute;
- I launched a weekly radio show (Mondays 12-1pmAET 94.1fm www.3wbc.org.au) called 'But I Feel Good' …talking pink elephants and black dogs, which is dedicated to speaking openly and comfortably about the “black dog” of mood disorders from a lived experience perspective and the positive “pink elephant” strategies and practices that build emotional resilience and inner fortitude (Check out and like the Radio Show 'But I Feel Good FaceBook Page here);
- I invite other people to speak openly and comfortably about their lived experience; and
- I encourage others to speak openly and comfortably about their concerns for those they know that may be experiencing ‘mind’ health issues.
What is the one action that you will take to be part of the momentum to build the wave that will have us all openly and comfortably surfing the ‘mind’ health conversation?
Some ideas you might like to consider:
- Find a person who lives with a mood disorder or other mental health issue and ask them if they would have a conversation with you about their experiences;
- With permission, tell others about what you learnt from having that conversation;
- Surf the net and get educated on a ‘mind’ health issue or mood disorder about which you are curious;
- Tell someone you know about what you learnt investigating a mental health issue;
- Become informed about the current and predicted future stats on mental health issues and see what it inspires you to do;
- Learn some ways to help or support those that you see struggling with their mood;
- Ask someone who looks like they are struggling if they are OK?;
- Organise a Black Dog Institute Community Presentation on Breaking Down Depression and Building Resilience; or
- If you have first hand experience, volunteer to be a Black Dog Institute Community Volunteer Presenter on Breaking Down Depression and Building Resilience.
I am sure you could also think of some other actions…
From little things, big things grow.”
Because your Mind Health Matters…