Breaking down stigmas in Mental Health Week

10 October 2019

We are celebrating Mental Health Week, a national event that aims to improve understanding of mental health, reduce stigma and encourage practical steps people can take to look after their mental health.

Image: Gina and Tracey from our Tasmania team encouraging people to think about the 'roles we play' during Mental Health Week

We are celebrating Mental Health Week from 6 - 12 October across our organisation. We want to challenge people to examine their own views to shift the focus away from the ‘problem’ of mental illness toward a more supportive view where mental health is valued, promoted and protected. At Life Without Barriers, a number of our offices are getting involved through running events or participating in events in the community.

To continue to destigmatize mental health, it is important to understand how prevalent mental illness is. Here are some thing you may not know about mental illness

  • One in five Australians experience mental illness each year.

  • Stigma arising from myths or lack of knowledge around mental illness acts as a barrier to treatment, support and recovery for those experiencing mental health issues.

  • Seeking help early results in better mental health outcomes. By delaying or preventing access to mental health support, stigma impacts negatively on the long-term health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

  • By taking a more positive view of mental illness, stigma is reduced which opens the door to conversations that save lives, and makes way for better and earlier identification of symptoms and the seeking out of professional support.

Many of our offices around Australia are doing their part to destigmatize mental health and get the conversation started about what we can all do to look after our mental health. In Tasmania, our team has created 500 badges based on 'The roles we play' to start conversations around mental health.

Image: Badges made by our Tasmania team for Mental Health Week

Staff were then asked to choose if they are a Listener, Ally, Carer, Activist, Leader, Helper, Story Teller, Fund Raiser, Stigma Breaker or Elder, or a combination of all.

Image: Our Tasmania team choosing their badges for Mental Health Week

In South Australia, our mental health team is getting involved with a number of activities including the Mindshare Group Exhibition, which is on now in Adelaide and our Living Arts team will be encouraging you to find your inner creativity at the Festival of Now, happening on Friday 11 October.

Mental Health Week also coincides with World Mental Health Day, which is acknowledged every year on 10 October. This year, the Australian arm is asking participants to make a mental health promise and share it on their website or your own personal social media. The campaign aims to shed a more positive light on mental health issues and the one in five Australians who experience mental illness annually.

Mental Health services

Life Without Barriers offers a number of mental health services in select communities across Australia