Written by Billie Tipping
As we’ve just celebrated R U OK Day on 8th September, World Mental Health Day is another fantastic initiative assisting in normalising the stigma surrounding mental health and openly talking about mental health with others.
On October 10th, World Mental Health Day should be celebrated to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health. The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide – which is often not spoken about.
I have suffered from anxiety and depression for the last 10 years and it is still something I struggle with in my daily life and at work. Whilst I have come a long way with learning about mental health and how to manage my own struggles, it is still something that is extremely difficult for me to talk about not only to friends and family but within my working environment. I have always felt like it was a burden on others. Something I have really learned over the past 10 years however, is that you’d be surprised how many people around you and close to you suffer from similar mental health issues. Which means that it really shouldn’t be difficult to talk about these things with those closest to us.
I have also learned that everyone deals with things differently, which means we need to support each other and talk to each other even if it’s difficult. There have been times during the last 10 years where I felt very alone and I felt like no-one around me understood how I was feeling until I started talking to others and getting my worries off my chest. It can take a lot of time and patience to understand how we are feeling and what we can do to make things feel better, but often (I have found) that those around me offer great ideas and help in managing my mental health.
How I will be celebrating?
I will be celebrating World Mental Health Day by being open about how I am feeling to hopefully help others around me feel comfortable in talking about how they are feeling too. I want to open up the conversation in my work place surrounding mental health and make a safe space for people to openly talk about their struggles and find comfort in talking about how they are feeling. Whilst it is fantastic to openly talk about these topics on World Mental Health Day, it is also important to continue this conversation well into the future and making sure we continue to check up on each other even when we think those around us are feeling fine.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please don’t hesitate to call:
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
1800 Respect on 1800 737 732