Mental Health Week is a national week celebrated each year in October, the theme of today is community.
It’s really easy to point at the government and say “what are you doing to improve mental health?”
“and that is important,” says Adrian Munro CEO of Richmond Wellbeing, “but what we need to remember is that mental health is such a significant issue in our community, and it can’t be fixed by the government.”
It’s not the same kind of issue as trade relations or foreign aid. So Adrian believes that mental health needs to be addressed first and foremost by the community. This is where we retain good mental health and where people recover from their issues.
Throwing money at these problems doesn’t “fix” people if people don’t want to willingly put their hand up and say, I need help.
Adrian says that this is especially significant when it comes to men. Women are much better at reaching out for support and resources. So across the board, we need to increase our “mental health literacy”. So that we can recognise the signs of when we’re not ok. Or so that we notice when our friends and family aren’t travelling so well.
Of course, these services need to be funded, but at the grassroots, it comes down to the individual and their support network to start the process.
“We’re seeing more and more prevalence of mental health issues in the community. If we think the government is going to solve this, we’re wrong. We, as a community, need to be better at identifying when we’re not travelling too well and supporting each other effectively. The solution is in the hands of the community.”
Have a listen to the conversation below:
Beyond Blue have great resources for those looking to learn more. If you or someone you know needs help talk to Richmond Wellbeing, your GP or health professional, for a 24/7 crisis service call Lifeline on 13 11 14.