Mental Health Month is recognised every October in NSW, and this year we wanted to help encourage our Locals Matter community to think about their mental wellbeing.
Mental Health Month gives us a good opportunity to understand the importance of what good mental health looks like in our everyday lives, and encourages us to seek and maintain good habits, particularly with some of the difficulties we’ve faced in 2020.
The theme for this month is all about ‘Tuning In’, which means to be present and aware of what’s happening within you and in the world around you, be that other people within your lives and within your broader community.
Taking a moment to consciously tune in is a habit we should all try to maintain. It can help to focus your mind, find a new perspective, reflect and to be present. It’s been shown to help build self-awareness, to help make effective choices, reduce the impact of worry, and build positive connections. We can think of this in two ways. First, how can we help ourselves to ‘tune in’ to our communities and people around us. And second, how can you help those around you?
How to get support from those around you?
If things are tough right now and you need some company, or if you’re struggling to connect with others, letting them know can help them understand where you’re at and help them tune in to you.
How can you support those around you?
Think about any broader groups and networks that you’re part of and what’s happening within them. How can you make communities and activities more welcoming and easier to access for people experiencing difficulty with their mental health and wellbeing? This could be something specific, like offering a lift to someone who’s struggling to get somewhere, or pick up their groceries for them. Or it could be more general, like being aware of feelings or challenges within your community during the current Covid-19 pandemic, or even having a chat with someone you haven’t given much time to before.
Simple ways to tune into others could be asking how they’re feeling, going for a walk together, chatting on the phone or just sharing a cuppa.
For further resources and information on Mental Health Month, visit mentalhealthmonth.org.au. You can also download fact sheets and find out about support programs at wayahead.org.au and wayaheaddirectory.org.au.