Mental Health Month activities: A new way to celebrate

Mental Health Month 2020 is still scheduled to run throughout October, and Mental Health Day will be celebrated on the 10th of October. However, a number of regular events that normally run during Mental Health Month won’t go ahead in 2020, or at least not in their usual form. This includes some that are run by Flourish Australia.

With a little creativity and innovation we can still make the most of these 31 important days. By using social media, the contacts on your phone and having a desire to promote awareness and inclusivity, there’s much you can do to make a difference during Mental Health Month. For instance, consider discussing mental health issues with the people in your life. Perhaps you might reflect on whether it seems as though a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbour has been doing it tough lately. Inviting them out for a coffee, asking them how their work/life balance is going or simply listening are small gestures that can make a big difference.

Learning more about mental health issues is a productive way of doing your part in dispelling common misconceptions and  stigma in the community. Learning to use strengths-based, person-led terminology is an amazing way of taking a stand against intolerance. There’s no shortage of knowledge and wisdom on the subject out there, but do be careful to seek information from reputable sources. The Flourish Australia website is an ideal resource for this sort of thing.

Mental Health Month is also an ideal time to seek support, as every mental health service in Australia will be promoting what they have to offer. You could take the step to talk with your GP about experiences that have been challenging for you lately, or phone Lifeline to speak with a counsellor anonymously.

If you feel that some mental housekeeping may be overdue, try focusing on the bright side of life, choose to think of yourself in kinder terms, and forgive those who have wronged you. Maybe take a look at your routine to assess whether it’s working for you. For instance, do you get enough sleep? Is there somewhere you go to connect with other people, express yourself creatively, or otherwise spend your time productively? Dealing with one factor at a time is all that’s required to work toward the fulfilling life that you want.

Flourish Australia provides a very wide range of holistic support for people with a lived experience of mental health issues. Call 1300 779 270 to be connected to your closest Flourish Australia office and to find out how we can make a difference in your life.

Grant J Everett, Panorama magazine