The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) welcomes the ABC’s 'Your Mental Health' week (5-11 July) as a timely reminder of the need for every Australian to continue to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing during the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent drought, bushfires and floods.
The Commission’s CEO, Christine Morgan, applauded the ABC’s commitment to profiling the national experience and challenges of mental health and wellbeing at this significant moment.
“Every person will be facing mental health and wellbeing challenges, and it is perfectly normal and reasonable for you to experience distress, and or mental health and wellbeing challenges in these extraordinary times,” Ms Morgan said.
“We urge you to put your mental health and wellbeing first. By doing so, you are providing yourself with the best opportunity you can to deal with these life circumstances.
“Every aspect of your life is connected to your mental health and wellbeing. Seeking help and treatment if you need to will give you a better chance of coping and responding to the very challenging times many of us are facing with employment, financial security, housing, schooling and normal life routines.”
The ABC’s Your Mental Health week dedicates a week’s worth of programming and content across all of their news and current affairs programs and platforms to raise awareness of Australia’s experiences of mental health and wellbeing.
“When we see and learn from each other’s experiences through media platforms like the ABC we can better appreciate how normal our own feelings and behaviours are in these challenging times, and the benefits of seeking help and treatment if needed.
“Key to the ABC’s programming will be showcasing the power of staying connected to each other, and the direct benefit that this gives to our feelings of health, safety and belonging.
“Staying connected to loved ones, your neighbours and the community when you are challenged, feeling overwhelmed. If you need to be isolated for physical health reasons, staying connected through alternate means is still a priority for your mental health and wellbeing.
“Many of us will not have had to access help and support for our mental health and wellbeing before the pandemic. There are still many months of challenging times to come, so seeking help and support early and often as you need is extremely important.
“For those who live with a mental health diagnosis we know that the current environment can also be very challenging. We urge you to stay connected with your treatment and care plans, and where necessary to incorporate alternate options in these plans to continue to stay well. If you need to, please seek emergency assistance.
“The Commission is committed to ensuring that every Australian has access to support and care where and how they need to access it.
“There is also a strong commitment to system reform in response to the pandemic, which identifies the need to access help and treatment where you experience it, be it where your live, work and learn, and in your community. There is quite a bit of work to achieve this goal across every community, however with the commitment of all governments through the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan, which aims to address these gaps and to invest in the necessary system reforms we can achieve better outcomes for everyone.”
Media contact: Jenny Muir – 0415 401 200
National 24/7 Support
If you, or anyone you know needs support the below support lines are available 24/7.
Lifeline | 13 11 14 | www.lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service | 1300 659 467 | www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Kids Helpline | 1800 55 1800 | www.kidshelp.com.au
MensLine Australia | 1300 78 99 78 | www.mensline.org.au