Earlier this month the world recognised World Mental Health Day. October is a huge month in regards to raising awareness of mental illness. Mental Health Week raises community awareness about mental health issues and is held every October each year to coincide with World Mental Health Day. This year it was from October 8th to the 15th in Australia with its theme being Act-Belong-Commit and focus on suicide prevention, ‘Together we can save lives’.
Mental Health Week aims to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.
Mental health is a very sensitive topic for a large percentage of the population, not only in Australia, but worldwide. Many suffer with mental illness whether it is depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or other, but won’t talk about it, admit it or seek for help causing a rise in suicides. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with almost seven people taking their life every day. It’s estimated 50 per cent of Australians suffer mental illness at some point in their lives.
The truth is mental health effects us all. It has an effect on the way we think and feel about our lives and ourselves it has an impact on our behaviour and how we cope in tough times. Mental health is very common and it can be anything from anorexia, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, depression, insomnia, narcolepsy, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, paranoia, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, stress, suicide, all of which can be treated to a certain degree.
A staggering amount of people who suffer with mental health, suffer in silence. If you suffer – don’t do it alone. Do not hesitate or be embarrassed to seek for help. Whether it is speaking to a family member, friends or professionals it can save lives. There is numerous of help lines and websites you can visit for help and advice, all of which operate 24/7 and will provide you with immediate help. There is many ways in dealing with mental health and the first step of progress is seeking for help.
Some hotlines/website you could visit:
13 11 14 – www.lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467 – www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Kids Help Line
1800 55 1800 – www.kidshelpline.com.au – A counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.