Talking mental health in the bush is more than a week’s battle
ONE in five Australians are affected by mental health, yet many don’t seek help because of stigma.
That’s the message from Mental Health Australia, the peak national body representing and promoting better mental health for all Australians. Today marks the end of Mental Health Week, a period for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy.
On a local level, South West Hospital and Health Services’ mental health team is taking the time to remind everyone they’re not alone.
Perinatal mental health clinician Julianne Everson said the week was a chance to start potentially lifesaving conversations, and there was no better way to do that than being on the ground.
“Mental health is not something to be afraid of or to hide away from,” she said.
“Everyone at some point in their life is likely to experience some sort of mental health issue and we just want people to know they’re not alone and there are services here.
“We are at the Saleyards with a group of people who maybe wouldn’t be the type to approach us.
“The first step is the hardest step but it is the most important step. Don’t be afraid to reach out, don’t ever be afraid you’ll be judged or thought less of.”
Child and youth clinician Belinda Chandler said a big part of her role was making sure the community knew she was there.
“We don’t want to push our services on people but we want people to know they can approach us,” she said. “We know how tough times can be but we want people to know we are on their side.”
If you or someone you know needs help, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.
Mental health clinicians Julianne Everson and Belinda Chandler talk mental health awareness and open conversation.