Mental Health Week aims to activate, educate and engage Australians around mental health and related issues through the organisation of a huge variety of events by individuals and organisations across the state.
Life Without Barriers are celebrating Mental Health Week, a national event that aims to improve understanding of what good mental health is, reduce stigma and encourage practical steps people can take to look after their own mental health and wellbeing. Mental Health Week is part of an annual national mental health promotion campaign and incorporates World Mental Health Day - held globally on 10 October.
This year, the Australian arm is asking participants to make a mental health promise to “Look after your mental health, Australia” and share it on their website and share that promise on your own personal social media pages.
The purpose of Mental Health Week is to engage communities in activities that promote positive mental health and wellbeing and also increase understanding and reduce stigma about mental illness and how it impacts the lives of people in our community.
Our WA community has done just that and created a virtual art exhibition from pieces submitted by the people we support and the wider community. Many of the people we support find art very therapeutic and we have been blown away but the artwork submitted.
Image: 'Untitled 2' by Annarine C
Our WA community also held a t-shirt design competition with the WA theme "Strengthening Our Community – Live, Learn, Work, Play." We had some amazing entries! It would have been great to be able to print them all but there had to be a winner. We are delighted to announce that Tamara, a participant in our Individualised Community Living Strategy (ICLS) program, is this year’s winner!
Image: Tamara wearing her award winning design with her four children.
Another reason Mental Health Day, Week and Month are so important is to breakdown any mental health stigmas.
To continue to destigmatise mental health, it is important to understand how prevalent mental illness is. Here are some facts you may not know:
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.
1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental illness annually, yet many don’t seek help because of stigma.
This year has been harder than most for a lot of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to check in on the mental health and wellbeing of those around you, and check in on yourself. We can get through this together, Australia.
Mental Health Week 2020: Australia
Tasmania: 5 - 10 October - www.mhct.org
Queensland: 10-17 October - www.qldmentalhealthweek.org.au
Western Australia: 10-17 October - www.mentalhealthweek.org.au
Lifeline 13 11 14 – 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Lifeline Text 0477 13 11 14 – 6pm to midnight (AEDT) 7 nights a week
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Butterfly Foundation National Helpline 1800 334 673
Carer Support 1800 242 636 or 1300 554 660
SANE Australia Help Centre 1800 187 263
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
QLife 1800 184 527
Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling 1800 011 046
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