October 4, 2022

Make mental health a priority this October

October is dedicated to raising awareness for mental health. The Mental Health Foundation Australia says it is an important time when the Australian community comes together to raise awareness and promote better mental health for all.

Monday, 10 October also marks World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages us to use that day as an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to protect and improve mental health for ourselves, for our families and for our communities.

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis for mental health, fuelling short and long-term stresses, and undermining the mental health of millions. At the same time, mental health services have been severely disrupted and the treatment gap for mental health conditions has widened.

The WHO is encouraging people with mental health conditions, advocates, governments, employers, employees and other stakeholders to come together to recognise progress in this field and to be vocal about what we need to do to ensure mental health and wellbeing becomes a global priority for all.

Here at Northern Health, we kicked off the month with an initiative organised by the Black Dog Institute, called ‘One Foot Forward’ that encourages us to walk for mental health. A Northern Health team has been set up so staff can join and record their kilometres walking during October. Click here for more information.

Black Dog Institute also has many resources for the month and we would encourage you to visit their site here.

On World Mental Health Day, the Black Dog Institute will host a webinar on common mental health support options, and how individuals can effectively communicate these resources in their workplace. The webinar will be held at 12 noon. Click here to register.

As stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social inclusion and access to the right care, we can all play our part in increasing awareness and this October is an opportunity to do that collectively.

Belinda Scott

Executive Director Mental Health