One in five Australians become unwell because of mental health every year and nearly half of all Australians (45%) will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, a simple conversation can be the catalyst for many to take action in improving their mental wellbeing by accessing further support.
September 9th is R U OK Day.
The purpose of the day is to inspire and empower everyone to connect in a meaningfully way to the people around us to start a conversation with those who may be struggling with their mental health. The R U OK day also aims to break down that stigma by encouraging more people to talk about their mental health.
For the more than 700,000 Australians living with a complex mental health issue, stigma can be a real barrier to accessing support. While society has a growing understanding of depression and anxiety, there remains a lot misunderstanding and prejudice towards people with a complex mental health issue.
This in turn creates stigma and discrimination. On an individual level, stigma may see a person face negative attitudes, a lack of support and understanding, and ultimately lead a lower quality of life due to social marginalisation. On a systemic level, stigma is a barrier to people being able to access support and delays meaningful mental health reform.
This year’s R U OK Day comes at a difficult time for many, with stay at home orders in place across 60% of Australia. While current circumstances don’t allow many of us to physically check in with those around us, it is a perfect time to pick up the phone or video chat with someone you think may be struggling.
Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:
1. Ask R U OK?
3. Encourage action
4. Check in
For more information visit https://www.ruok.org.au/
If you or a loved one needs additional help you can contact the below services.
- Lifeline for 24/7 crisis support 12 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
The team here at Flourish Australia can also support people to find support, which is stigma-free and recovery-focused. We can assist you in accessing support whether it be employment opportunities, peer support, help with housing or the NDIS to name a few.
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to providing help, we believe in providing support which meets people where they are on their recovery journey which will result in people reaching optimal mental health and wellbeing.
You can get in contact with us on 1300 779 270 to let us know how we can best support you.
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