Reflecting on Mental Health Month

After the year we have had, October's Mental Health Month reminds us that it is important to reflect and tune in to our mental health.

As we come to the end of October, it is fitting to look back with the knowledge that October is Mental Health Month, a great opportunity for reflection and awareness after the challenging year we have endured.

As we start to emerge from our lockdown it is important that we take time to reflect on our mental health, and that of our loved ones, as we seek to make life in the new ‘COVID normal’.

By seeking a greater understanding of how we are faring mentally, we can raise awareness of the issues people are facing, help address the challenges being experienced and reduce the stigma of mental illness as a strong and supportive community.

In Australia, before the pandemic, 45 percent of the population is believed to have an experience of a mental health - mostly with anxiety or depression.  As we struggle with the most significant health crisis to hit a generation, it is unlikely many will have been spared mental hardship during the COVID crisis.

The theme for this year’s National Mental Health Month is ‘Mental Health Matters’.

This theme highlights the importance of supporting good mental health, and how important it is to address as an Australian community.

'Tuning In' to mental health

But as individuals we can start to become aware and take action to support good mental health by simply ‘Tuning In’ to what is happening within you and the world around you.  This is a government supported initiative.

By ‘Tuning In’ to yourself, you can build your self-awareness and make effective choices that will hopefully improve your ability to cope and survive life’s challenges.  

There are four ways to ‘Tune In’ to mental health:

  • Tune In to yourself
  • Tune In to others
  • Turn In to communities
  • Tune In to stigma

You can Tune In to yourself, by asking yourself:

  • What can I sense right now? (See, smell, taste, touch and listen)
  • How do I feel right now? (What you are feeling, focus you mind and understand what you are going through on the inside of your body)

You can focus your senses by:

  • Sitting silently
  • Going for a walk
  • Practising self-care
  • Doing something creative, like drawing, painting knitting
  • Listening to music or meditating

You can also share your feelings and experiences with other people to help them understand how you are feeling now.

You can 'Tune In' to other people by:

  • Seeking to understanding what people might be feeling and why?
  • Observing how others are behaving/feeling
  • Asking people how they are feeling, inviting them to talk?
  • Engaging in a hobby together
  • Sharing a cuppa
  • Simply engaging with someone

 
How can you 'Tune In' to your community?

  • Join a social group like those as Connect Health & Community
  • Join a local hobby group
  • Go to free community events and libraries
  • Encouraging your community or workplace to take part in mental health awareness activities
  • Challenging mental health around negative ideas
  • Reaching out to people who are isolated

How can you Tune In to stigma?

  • Be aware of how people in your environment react to Mental Health issues
  • Encourage people to talk about their mental health and what they are doing to stay mentally healthy
  • Encourage people to explore or seek help for their mental health.
  • Encourage compassion for other experience poor mental health.

 
Connect Health & Community provides counselling to support the mental health of our whole community, from pre-school children through to youth and families.  We also provide financial counsellors for those suffering gambling harm through Gambler’s Help Southern.

For more information, call us on 03) 9575 5333 or Gambler’s Help Southern on 03) 9575 5353.

Story by: Communications Volunteer, Leesa.

References:

For more information on 'Tuning In' visit http://mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au/tune-in/

For more information or resources as part of National Mental Health Month, visit https://www.mhfa.org.au/CMS/national-mental-health-month-2020

 

You may also like

  • Supporting and celebrating our youth

    This year we celebrate Youth Week from 15 November - 15 December.

    Read More
  • Getting back into the swim of things

    Our Hydrotherapy pool is welcoming back clients and we are currently contacting existing ones to support their return to therapy. The next phase will be to open up the pool to new clients to join our groups.

    Read More
  • Searching for Christmas

    We know it is still November, but in a year with no rules, we've decided to bring on the festive merriment a little early. We all deserve it!

    Read More
Speech Pathology for Kids

Speech Pathology for Kids

Speech pathologists provide assessment and management of communication, swallowing and feeding difficulties.

Read More
Community Transport

Community Transport

We have been offering safe and quality door-to-door transport options to our community since 1975.

Read More
Occupational Therapy Week 21-27 October

Occupational Therapy Week 21-27 October

We provide Occupational Therapy to help children, adults and those experiencing mental health issues, to achieve their full potential.

Read More