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World Mental Health Day
Last Friday October 3rd , TELL proudly presented a one-night performance of A Chip in the Sugar, made possible by the support of Morgan Stanley. Our very own Executive Director Ian de Stains gave a moving performance of Allan Bennett’s monologue. Written in the eighties, this was the first episode of the Talking Heads series for the BBC. The performance centers on a middle aged man who still lives with his mother and struggles with mental health issues. The stigma that surrounds mental health conditions was obvious in the performance with Graham’s mother repeatedly telling him to “take a tablet” and her old flame referring to the situation as a simple case of sufferers needing to “pull their socks up”, sadly many of these prejudices still hold true today.
Mental Health Week 2014 runs from 5 to 11 October, in which The World Health Organization (WHO) has marked October 10 as World Mental Health Day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. Mental illness is often perceived as ‘something that happens to other people’, yet 1 in 5 employees are likely to be experiencing a mental health condition. With WHO predicating that by 2020 depression will become one of the leading global disabilities, mental illness is likely to touch many of us either directly or indirectly.
Mental illness is one of the biggest health problems facing our societies, yet it rarely receives the resources it requires or the respect it deserves. We all have a role in creating a mentally healthy community that supports recovery and social inclusion and reduces discrimination. For World Mental Health Day 2014, we should try to:
• Learn and share the facts about mental health and illness.
• Get to know people with personal experiences of mental illness.
• Speak up in protest when friends, family, colleagues, or the media display false beliefs and negative stereotypes.
• Offer the same support to people when they are physically or mentally unwell.
• Don't label or judge people with a mental illness, treat them with respect and dignity as you would anyone else.
• Talk openly of your own experience of mental illness. The more hidden mental illness remains, the more people continue to believe that it is shameful and needs to be concealed.
Help TELL not just on this specific day, but every day, to support those around us struggling with a mental illness to be treated like anyone dealing with any other illness. And like most other illnesses, mental illness with the right attention can be cured.
The TELL Lifeline is open 09.00-23.00 every day. You need to talk? We’re here to listen 03 5774 0992