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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:
You can Tune In to yourself, by asking yourself:
You can focus your senses by:
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:
How can you 'Tune In' to your community?
How can you Tune In to stigma?
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.
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
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