STRONGER TOGETHER: Now is the time to prioritise your mental health

Last updated: 12/10/2021

STRONGER TOGETHER: Now is the time to prioritise your mental health

By Tanya O'Shea, IMPACT Community Services' Managing Director

"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This weeks Tanya focuses on the importance of prioritizing your mental wellbeing.

It’s not selfish to take time for your mental wellbeing. You are worth it.

In fact, that’s the theme for this year’s Queensland Mental Health Week: ‘Take time – for mental health’.

COVID-19 has fueled a national conversation about mental health, and with tomorrow marking the beginning of Mental Health Week (October 9-17) – there’s no time like the present to hold space for mental health conversations within your home, your workplace and your community.  

One in five Australians are currently reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress. There is no doubt that living in regional Queensland has reduced our exposure to COVID-19 related mental health tolls that are beginning to surface for those enduring prolonged periods of lockdown.

Yet, living in Bundaberg does not make us immune to poor mental health.

According to statistics on Beyond Blue, one quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime. One in 16 Australians are currently experiencing depression. That’s more than 1million people.

The numbers show an even higher prevalence within marginalised and disadvantaged groups:

  • Indigenous Australians are nearly three times as likely to be psychologically distressed than non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Half of all the mental health conditions we experience at some point in our lives will have started by age 14.
  • One in five LGB Australians is currently experiencing depressions, which is more than triple the rate of heterosexuals. (The research featured only homosexual/bisexual and heterosexual categories and it is unclear how or if transgender and intersex people responded).

In a community like ours where there is entrenched disadvantage, we all have a responsibility to prioritise our mental wellbeing.

We owe it to our partner, our kids, our family, our friends. We owe it to ourselves.

Making mental health and wellbeing a priority is not easy, especially when you aren’t feeling your best. Creating resilience is key.

The good news is that there is support available. Online resources can be a good place to start as they can provide inspiration and suggestions.

For people in the Bundaberg and Discovery Coast regions as well as Kingaroy, IMPACT Community Services delivers mental health supports to help those in need.

In the last financial year IMPACT supported 153 people who faced a variety of mental health challenges.  

Our suite of supports has recently expanded with a wider diversity of services in place.

At IMPACT we focus on each person’s individual experience, their strengths and what is needed to achieve a better recovery.

If we don’t have the right support for you, we will work with you to make a connection into the right space.

Under the leadership of Jannene Thorn our team of experienced and highly-skilled staff are there when you need them to help improve your life.

They embody IMPACT’s commitment to the core values of being compassionate, empowering others, building trust in relationships, celebrating uniqueness, working together and striving for excellence.

Among the local Mental Health Week activities scheduled for next week is the Take Time event at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens on October 14, where you can meet the IMPACT team.

From 10am­-2pm, this free community event will host a range of activities such as train rides, Tai Chi in the park, art in the park, a scavenger hunt, drumming activities and more as it seeks to break the stigma around mental health and acknowledge unpaid carers in our community.

Morning tea will be provided.

To connect to someone at IMPACT about the mental health support services available today call 4153 4233.

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