It’s National Mental Health Month – an important time where the Australian community comes together to raise awareness that mental health matters.
This year we’ve experienced some devastating events across the country, beginning with bushfires and now the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re now trying our best to adapt to a ‘new normal’, which understandably can take a toll.
While it’s important to look after your mental health and wellbeing every day, Mental Health Month is a great reminder to check in with yourself and others. The initiative also creates another opportunity for us to hold some positive and open conversations to reduce stigma, to learn how to identify when someone needs support, and to know what actions to take.
Remember you are never alone, and help is always available.
Mental Health Month in NSW
There is a different theme for each State and Territory, but each theme is relevant for everyone. I am in NSW and the theme for this year is ‘Tune In’.
You’ll find loads of information and resources, including explanations for each theme on the Mental Health Month website.
Tuning In means being present, being aware of what’s happening within you, and in the world around you.
Tune In to your senses – what can you sense right now? What can you feel?
Tune In to your communities – what’s happening that you can be part of, or that you can help others be part of?
Tune In to stigma – how do attitudes and understandings of mental health and wellbeing impact people’s ability to live the lives they want?
Taking a moment to understand what is happening in your life and the people all around you is a great exercise. You’ll find new and different perspectives that can help you reflect on what’s important.
Additionally, taking time to tune in has shown to help build positive connections, build self-awareness, and reduce the impact of anxiety and worrying.
On a larger scale, there are still some social stigmas regarding the impact of mental health, so tuning into your local community can help people who need support in reaching out.
Where to find help
We all have different needs and it can be tricky to know exactly what support will help. A good place to start is the Charles Sturt support services. As Charles Sturt students, we’re lucky to have a team of dedicated experts that specialise in individual needs.
Beyond Charles Sturt, the following services are available.
Emergency – dial 000
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36
Beyond Blue provides 24/7 mental health support, both online and by phone, delivered by mental health professionals.
Lifeline – 131 114
Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
A telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages 5 to 25. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
National service that provides free 24/7 phone, video and online professional counselling to people who are affected by suicide.
Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511
A mental health professional will answer your call about mental health concerns for you or someone you know, including children, teens and adults.