Written by Natalie Sarmiento
In the month of October in NSW, Mental Health Month is celebrated, reminding us of the importance of mental health & wellbeing and the steps we can take to maintain good health within these areas. The 2023 theme is “We all have a role to play” which promotes the significance of support & community in regards to mental health. Throughout the month, WayAhead (The Mental Health Association in NSW) continues to educate people on mental health and link services & resources that can help.
In this article, we’ll offer you the facts on all things mental health and take a look at some ways that you can participate in Mental Health Month. We’ll also direct you towards some helpful resources:
- About Mental Health
- Partaking In Mental Health Month
- Helpful Resources
- Your Next Steps
About Mental Health
A study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2022 found that approximately 2 in 5 Australians from ages 16-25 have experienced some form of mental disorder in their life. This is around 8.6 million people nationwide. It was found that anxiety was the most common mental disorder, affecting 3.3 million Australians.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It often refers to a person’s social, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. Your mental health has the ability to affect your day-to-day life. Where some people may find waking up to be easy, others may find it extremely difficult to move out of bed. Often, the term wellbeing is associated with good mental health. It often refers to your quality of life. Good wellbeing is important in boosting your overall mood and outlook on life which can ultimately impact your mental health.
Whether you may or may not be struggling, we encourage you to ask these important questions and check in with yourself from time to time using this checklist:
- How are you really feeling today? Physically? Mentally?
- What has been on your mind the most as of late?
- What are you grateful for?
- Have I been eating and getting enough sleep?
- Have I been getting enough exercise?
- What is something you are looking forward to in a week’s time?
If you’re interested in learning more or want to access information from reliable sources regarding mental health, we recommend these Australian organisations that offer more information:
- Way Ahead – Mental Health Association NSW
- Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
Partaking In Mental Health Month
The NSW Government and Way Head have teamed up for the month of October to provide a list of resources and activities to partake in to advocate for wellbeing and good mental health. This ranges from foods that you could eat to activities that you could do by yourself. There are also a plethora of communal activities to join and get a true sense of the theme “We all have a role to play”. Some of these community events include:
Black Dog Institute is holding “One Foot Forward, A Walk For Mental Health”. People are challenged to walk long distances to help the 1 in 5 Australians who are experiencing mental illness each year.
Beyond Blue’s Big Blue Table encourages people to partake in a meal. The idea is by raising money and hosting a lunch, you will be creating a safe space for people to enjoy a meal and open up about their mental health anytime, and anywhere.
The Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) creates a safe space for people from culturally & linguistically diverse communities. TMHC has created a series designed to assist people in setting goals, promoting wellbeing & managing stress.
During this month, we strongly encourage people to reach out and donate to mental health organisations, especially those that offer free resources and counselling. This may ensure that everyone can continue to access the necessary help whenever they
need it. There are also a variety of non-profit organisations that would feel encouraged by the support. Some places where you can donate today include:
If you are still unsure, we encourage you to visit Google and search for mental health organisations that you may want to support and learn more about their missions.
We strongly encourage that if you or anyone you know is struggling with any form of mental illness or disorder, to reach out and get support. There are always people who are willing to help. Some national resources that are readily available are:
- Lifeline Crisis Support: Crisis Support is a service that is available for short-term support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsafe, the Crisis Support line offers confidential, one-on-one support with a trained Lifeline supporter.
- Kids Helpline: Offering people from ages 5 – 25 a free & confidential counselling line which is available 24/7. The line is accessible anywhere in Australia
- Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue offers a plethora of resources for mental health support to access ranging from online peer support communities to one-on-one calls (20 minutes) with counsellors.
- The Mental Health Line: The Mental Health Line is the NSW Government’s direct 24/7 phone line. The line is free and offers advice, assessment of mental health and recommendations for NSW health services they may access.
- Australian Government, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Contacts: For more resources, the Australian Government has a list of organisations that offer support, counselling & information about mental health & suicide prevention
Your Next Steps
Whatever your experience may be with mental health – whether you may be struggling, or you know someone who is personally affected, we hope you are able to find ways to take part in Mental Health Month. From reaching out to your friends for a friendly conversation, to donating towards mental health causes, there are always ways for you to help.
We encourage you to bookmark and revisit this blog post to access all of these resources and tips in one spot and hope you have a good month ahead!
Disclaimer: The advice provided in this article is general in nature. For more information relating to your individual circumstances, please speak to your healthcare provider.
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