This October is World Mental Health Month, a time when we talk about our different lived experiences of mental health and wellbeing. It is also a chance to work for improvements in mental health recognition and support.
While there is still work to be done on reducing stigma and improving inclusion and services for people with a lived experience, there has been a lot of progress. While coming together this year will be a bit different, owing to COVID-19 restrictions, there are still many exciting events and campaigns we can use to reflect on the progress we’ve made and celebrate the diversity of all of us.
We’ve taken a virtual tour around the globe to see the what progress other countries have made, what events they’re doing, and how you can get involved.
In Tonga, campaigners have helped triple the national budget for mental health services. Sri Lankan campaigners have succeeded in getting medications able to be delivered directly to the doorsteps of people. In Indonesia, campaigners are partnering with other groups to help increase young people's awareness of psychosocial disabilities. You can read more about the incredible work people are doing around the world and at home in Australia via https://gospeakyourmind.org.
This World Mental Health Day, on 10th October, saw the first ever global 24-hour March for Mental Health. The 24-hour livestream event and social media campaign brought together people with lived experience and leaders in the field to combat the experience of stigma that persists in different countries.
The March for Mental Health was part of the global Speak Your Mind campaign, which is happening across 19 different countries. Speak Your Mind calls on governments to "invest, educate and empower our societies to end the silence around mental health and ensure that we all have good mental health".
In New Zealand, the theme for their Mental Health Awareness Week is "reimagining wellbeing together- he tirohanga anamata". Different activities for all ages are being run to help communities reimagine a culture of nurture and wellbeing for everyone to feel safe, supported, and valued.
Further afield, the United Kingdom will focus on mental health and remote work this World Mental Health Month. People who are working from home are encouraged to create a Wellness Action Plan. You can download the Working from Home: Wellness Action Plan here.
In Hong Kong, there is a mental health conference taking place in early November where experts and people with lived experience will come together with a focus on youth mental health. Part of the conference is going to be run by youth for youth with the theme "Resilience: In This Together".
In Australia we're focusing on tuning in. This Mental Health Month, we're encouraged to be present and aware of our senses, our communities and the stigma some people still face. The goal is to understand how attitudes towards mental health and wellbeing impact our lives and the lives of those around us.
Flourish Australia is excited to be hosting a webinar with an absolute champion of endurance – Turia Pitt, in celebration of Mental Health Month.
Turia is living proof that with purpose and vision we can overcome any lived experience. Tune in on Friday 30th October at 12:30pm to hear Turia shares her story and the strategies that helped her to rebuild her life and achieve some of her biggest goals.
For event information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you there!
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