There are moments in life that you know will remain earmarked pages of your story long after they have passed.
Professionally and personally, last week was one of those for me, as I was joined by 18 inspiring business and community leaders at the Ambassador’s Briefing for the launch of Australia’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in. Each of these amazing people remind us that we can all play a role in changing the face of mental health.
Check-in 2016 Ambassadors.
- Mental health is traditionally associated with people who are not functioning well. There is a gap between those who suffer and those who sympathise, when it really effects us all.
- Mental health has never had an objective test – adding to the stigma that separates it from physical health and has many people see it as a sign of weakness we would never attribute to someone suffering asthma or diabetes. Low iron is a lunch room discussion but not low mood.
- Most people don’t pay attention to their mental health until it is problematic. In fact only 35% of people with a mental health diagnosis ever receive professional help at all.
“A new graduate we employed- a friend of my brother, took his life the day before he started work with us” said one.
Another Ambassador, a priest a few places further along leant forward “I buried that young man”, he shared. “And we are still burying too many young men.”
“I have three kids – and I worry about what will happen if we don’t start talking about this more.” said another leader.
And still another “Our sector takes health and safety so seriously. Yet for every one death from a workplace accident, 6 people in our sector will take their own lives.”
Organisations can check-in to reduce the $11b impact mental health has on workplaces in Australia every year, and to provide each employee with a personalised wellbeing program. As individuals, we can check-in to make small steps toward better mental health -starting with ourselves.
Mental health in Australia is not a quick fix. But we can do a lot better, and we should.
With gratitude to Check-in Ambassadors
Rear: L-R Maree Gooch – Belay Consulting, Vin Gleeson – Wesfarmers, Mark Fitzpatrick – St Vincent de Paul, Paul Andrew – Lotterywest, Alec O’Connell – Scotch College, Dr Paul Davey – Australia Veterinarian Association, Dr Neale Fong – Chairmain of Bethesda, The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley – Dean of Perth, Justin Gilmour – Integro, John Fogarty – St John of God Murdoch Hospital, Sean Matheison- Medibio, Matthew Taylor – HBF.
Front: Scott Park – Scott Park Group, Peta Slocombe – Vital Conversations, Fiona Beermier – Intework, Dr Kate Hadwen – PLC, Brad Rogers – Bis Industries, Adrian Arundell – Azure Capital Ltd,