Mental Health Month 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?
Elder and adult conversing. The linework represents the vast knowledge that elders can provide when seeking guidance.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Often, we only talk about mental health as an individual responsibility, but lots of things outside our control contribute to mental health.
Things like discrimination, inequality, intergenerational trauma, access to services, and government policies can negatively impact people’s and communities’ mental health.
During Mental Health Month we all have a chance to Tune In to things we can do as individuals for our own, and others’ mental health, but without organisations and groups doing work on the bigger picture, outside factors will continue to impact individual’s mental health and wellbeing.
At WayAhead we work to change the Bigger Picture through research, advocacy, policy, submissions, and community support. Our work is evidence-based and co-designed with people with lived experience. We work with other organisations that share our values to support and promote their work.
Creating a world where people can create their own best possible mental health means creating a world where all systems, structures, policies, and services support this vision. We aren’t there yet, but we’ll keep working until we get there.
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.
The Aboriginal art that is included in this year’s Mental Health Month campaign has been contributed by Tylah Lomas, proud Kamilaroi woman. The goanna is the totem of her tribe.