8 October 2012 - Mental Health Week

Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)


Quote of the day:

"I don’t think of all the misery,

but of all the beauty that still remains."

Anne Frank



G'day guys,

This week is Mental Health Week in Australia. I guess we've all come across someone who has been afflicted by some form of mental illness, whether it be depression, anxiety or bipolar. Sadly, several teenagers have taken their own lives in my local community in recent years. What a waste.

Some years back I made a comment to a mate of mine whose brother suffered from bipolar disorder, 'When God was handing out diseases, I guess your brother did not put his hand up and ask for Bipolar!'

Mental Health Week is all about raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community.  A critical part of reducing stigma to support those with a mental illness (and their carers); is public awareness and an understanding that mental illness, like mental health, is part of the human condition.

This awareness and understanding can come from many sources. Throughout Mental Health Week, local and regional events are organised by many different communities, not-for-profit organisations, schools, individuals and workplaces. These events, generate discussion about mental health and get people sharing their own stories. The Queensland theme for Mental Health Week 2012 is “Working Toward Wellbeing”.  This theme was chosen to emphasise the impact that work, paid and unpaid, can have on an individual’s wellbeing and recovery.

1 in 5 Australians are affected by a mental health condition in some way. Their condition in the workplace could mean a loss of productivity and profits due to absenteeism and reduced hours.

Check out the links below to learn more about mental health and the many services and projects available.

Beyond Blue

Sane Australia

Black Dog Institute

Psych Central

Anxiety Treatment Australia


Queensland Government Mental Health Services

Young Diggers



How can you help?

Have you noticed a change in the behaviour of a friend or family member?

Are you concerned the person may be experiencing depression?

Are you wondering how you could help?

Often, young people will turn first to trusted friends and family members to talk about what they’re going through.  This means that, as a friend or family member, you’re in a good position to help someone you care about get the help he/she needs.


Eliminating Stress:

1. Exercise

The greatest stress reliever of all, might seem familiar, but it’s the most neglected of
all. Start the day with a brisk walk. Relax with stretches and yoga. The key to making
this work for you is to find a routine and be consistent.

2. Learn to say NO and delegate to others

Recognise when you’re overwhelmed and request help.

3. Infuse laughter into your life

Laugh out loud. Smile. Tell jokes. Have fun. A great stress reliever.

4. Lighten up

Say ‘everything will be OK’. Positive self-talk and gratitude empowers you to cope
and to relax. You ARE what you think.

5. Step away

Recharge and reset. Enjoy DOWN time. ME time. Take a warm scented bath. Indulge
in a soothing, relaxing massage.

6. Meditate and relax

Breath every breath slowly and deeply to calm yourself.

7. Join supportive communities

Be grateful for all the people in your life. People who commune with face-to-face
groups live more fulfilled lives.

8. Participate in a hobby you love

A hobby that helps you to unwind and relax.

9. Shrug your shoulders

Breathe deeply and release the tension.

10. Unplug yourself

Unplug your TV, computer and phone. Go outside and commune with nature on some level. Chill out in a natural environment. Enjoy watching sunsets, tending a herb garden, taking a rainforest walk and feeding the birds.

Clancy's comment: If you're not born with a disability, you'll probably pick one up along the way. So, this week, if you know someone who has been recently out of sorts, why not give them a call and spend some time with them. It could be the best thing you ever did - for yourself and your friend.

I'm ...