Did you know that one in five Australians experience a mental illness in any year and compounding to this, is the confronting statistic that about 54% of people do not seek treatment?
Looking back four decades ago, mental health and wellbeing had such a stigma attached to it. Rarely did anyone seek treatment. It was considered a weakness, so people withdrew, didn’t acknowledge their need for such aid and rarely resolved the anxiety, grief, depression and trauma that presented them in life.
In those days, we compartmentalised our feelings. Veterans came back from war torn engagements and were told to ‘just get on with life’. Mothers experiencing post-natal depression saw it as a weakness.
For so long, we believed that time would heal everything, when in fact it perpetuates misery, detaches us from loved ones and creates a real feeling of isolation that comes with the rollercoaster of our mental wellbeing.
Fast forward to 2023, we have identified October as Mental Health Month. A stark difference to the hidden landscape that was apparent four decades ago. Knowing where to go to seek help is the first step to recovery and governments have invested over the years in an area that is still underfunded.
If you live in Hawkesbury, do you know where to go to get help on improving your mental health and wellbeing?
Here are a few suggested contacts:
• visit your GP and enquire about a ‘Mental Health Care Plan’
• Hope4U Foundation – 1800 HOPE4U (1800 467348) Some further contacts:
• NSW Government Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 or www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/Pages/mental-health-line.aspx
• Lifeline – 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au/
• Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au/
• Headspace – https://headspace.org.au/
Just as we look after our physical health, it is important to nurture our mind. Refreshingly, there has been a shift in attitude over the last decade. The acceptance of the need to care and maintain our mental health and wellbeing has accelerated. Now that’s a good thing, don’t you think?
We all have a role to play. Look out for yourself and look out for your neighbour, especially during this Mental Health Month.