Each October, Mental Health Month gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. It is celebrated across NSW, the ACT and Victoria, and is a chance to promote activities and ideas that can have a positive impact on our daily lives and the lives of others. These events and messages are tied together with a specific theme, and this year’s is “Tune In”.
TUNING IN MEANS BEING PRESENT
It means being aware of what is happening within you, and in the world around you.
Being present by tuning in has been shown to help build self-awareness, help make effective choices, reduce the impact of worry, and build positive connections.
You can tune in to many things:
- Tune in to yourself – What can you sense right now? What can you feel?
- Tune in to others – What might people around you be feeling? How can we connect?
- Tune in to your communities – What is happening that you can be part of, or that you can help others be part of?
- Tune in to stigma – How do attitudes and understandings of mental health and wellbeing impact on people’s ability to live the lives they want? How can we help?
Here are some definitions of the language we use to speak about mental health and wellbeing. It helps us work together from a space of shared understanding and meaning.
A state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to their community.
A term used to describe a negative experience a person may be having, rather than a diagnostic term. It can present at any point of the wellness to illness spectrum.
A state where our mental health negatively impacts on our ability to think, feel and respond to others. This may occur in response to life events and stressors and may resolve over time or when stress is reduced. However, if it is ongoing or worsening, it can become a mental illness.
A clinically diagnosable illness that significantly interferes with an individual’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities. A diagnosis is generally made according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Mental illnesses are diverse, and each can occur with a varying degree of severity. The preferred term is “person/people with a lived experience of mental illness”. You might also refer to a specific diagnosis, for example “person with a lived experience of Bipolar disorder”, rather than “mentally ill person” or “Bipolar person”.
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