World Mental Health Day
Did you know that 1 in 5 Australians have been affected by mental illness? For our team at Hero Town Geelong, we often emphasise the importance of mental health education and promotion. We want to help create a world where individuals feel safe and comfortable seeking support for their mental health concerns. Coming up on October 10 is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to spreading awareness and advocacy. Here’s how you can ensure that you and your loved ones are feeling 10/10 this Mental Health Day.
Make a promise
Whether it’s big or small, there’s always something we can do to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Mental health affects us everywhere – at home, with friends, at work or in the community. This year, we would like to think about the ways that we can bring mental health awareness into these environments to reduce the stigma. It could be anything from asking a friend, family member or co-worker “R U OK?“, donating to one of the many worthy organisations raising awareness, or practising self care.
For World Mental Health Day, we encourage you to make a promise about advocating mental health and try your best to honour it. You’re more than welcome to write multiple promises to yourself and share them with the community. If you’re stuck for ideas, you can read the Promise Wall with all the promises that have been shared so far.
Join a local event
For 2017, we encourage anyone who is able to get involved with ‘Morning Tea for Mental Health.’ This is a relaxed, casual approach to mental health awareness that aims to normalise discussions around mental health.
Invite everyone to bring a plate to share, have a cuppa, and take a moment together to consider the importance of reducing stigma around mental illness.
Everyone has the opportunity to host their own event, or attend an already existing event. You can search for events in your area at the 10/10 website, or apply to host your own event. You can also find flyers to download so that you can promote the morning tea to family and peers.
Similarly, you might join in Australian Rotary Health’s Hat Day. Who doesn’t love a good excuse to wear a silly hat? Organise your group to raise funds to Lift the Lid on mental illness and contribute to research.
Read and share resources on mental health
Mental Health Australia have put together a comprehensive list of resources on everything you need to know about mental health. The topics range from general information about mental health, specific mental health conditions and symptoms, where to get help, reducing stigma and support for carers, family and friends.
We highly encourage you to set some time aside to go through these resources and empower yourself with knowledge about mental health and mental illnesses. Share these resources with your friends, family, on social networks, and get the message out there. The first step to reducing stigma around mental illness is to be understanding and open-minded.
Get your certification in Mental Health First Aid
This Mental Health Day, it is more important than ever to make sure the community is educated and equipped to help someone experiencing a mental health issue. This is where Mental Health First Aid comes in. We have often emphasised the importance of providing YMHFA for youth in the Geelong region. This is your opportunity to give back to the community and empower yourself to become accreditated as a Mental Health First Aider. Dates for public YMHFA sessions are out now and going fast, so make sure to book your place today.