Tune Into Stigma this Mental Health Month


1 in 5 Australians experience mental illness every year, and 45 percent of Australian adults will be affected by mental illness at some time in their life, but even with a high proportion of the population experiencing it, mental health is still something that’s shrouded in secrecy, shame, misunderstandings and assumptions. 

This mental health month tune in to stigma by becoming aware of the biases, prejudice and stereotypes that still surround mental health so that we can challenge it. Until we talk about it- nothing changes.  

So, how exactly can you tune in to stigma? Here are our top tips.

1: Challenge negative ideas around mental health

You might have heard (or even been on the receiving end) of one of these statements:

“People who need therapy are weak”

 “You can’t work if you have a mental illness”

“It’s all about attitude, you just need to be more positive!”

“They’re not sick, they’re just being lazy”

Sound familiar? You never know what someone is going through, and statements like these, (however casually said) send the message to people who are struggling that they’re on their own, the way their feeling is their own fault, their feelings don’t matter or that the person who has said something like this can’t be trusted to listen or doesn’t care.

Therapy is an important tool that even people without a diagnosed condition can benefit from. It’s possible to lead a happy and fulfilling life with a mental illness including keeping a job and it’s not just about having a positive attitude. By standing up and challenging these assumptions (or even considering our own internal biases) we can help create a more accepting space to talk openly about our struggles and potentially save a life.

2: Address the stereotypes around mental health

Think about some of the common stereotypes about mental illness and find different ways of looking at things.

For example, one stereotype about people with a mental health condition is that they are lazy. Instead of this negative stereotype, think about the different things someone might be experiencing that could lead to them feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.

Often dealing with the symptoms of mental ill-health takes a lot of internal energy, making it difficult to do everyday tasks. Whilst this may be perceived as laziness from the outside, what we don’t see is that an individual is doing a lot of hard work that is invisible to the outside. 

Check out this video for some helpful tips (link to spell check yourself)

2: Get talking about mental health and wellbeing

We’re all leading busy and sometimes stressful lives which means we need to look after our own mental health and wellbeing.  So talking to someone you trust is a great way to let off some steam, let go of your anxiousness or sadness and build a connection.

Make it a habit to ask those around you how they’re doing and be honest with others about your own situation. It might feel awkward or even scary, but the more we discuss our feelings – good and bad – the less they’re likely to overwhelm us. When you share you’re experience it can encourage others to do the same.

Not sure how to have the conversation? Check out RUOK? Day for some great tips.

3: Change the language you use

The words we use matter. Describing something as “crazy” or “mad” or using condition specific phrases like “I’m so OCD” can be harmful to someone without you even realising it.

Be aware of the language you use, especially around mental health, and try and challenge yourself not to use stigmatising language and encourage others not to use it too. 

4: Listen to people with lived experience

There’s lots to learn about mental health. So a great place to start is learning from people who have a lived experience with a mental health condition. It doesn’t have to be a formal sit down and you don’t have to look far.

You can find peoples experiences through podcasts, YouTube, TikToks, blogs and more. The key here is going in with the willingness to learn and empathise. Not sure where to start? Check out Abi’s experience with Depression.

If you are living with a mental health condition and need support to find work (and keep it), Campbell Page is here to help.

We’ve got your back through every step of the job search process and can connect you to the support services you need to manage your health condition.

Send us a message and we’ll will be in touch shortly, or better yet, call us now on 1300 139 920

"*" indicates required fields

Do you have a disability, injury, illness or health condition?*
Are you receiving income support payments or a pension?*
Do you have a current NDIS plan?*
Are you aged from 14 and not yet the Age Pension qualifying age?*

Image sources: GMF Designs, R U OK.

Tune in to Community this Mental Health Month

The last couple of years have been full of uncertainty, stress, isolation and feelings of loneliness which can all negatively impact our mental health.

Community and connection matters when it comes to mental health. Having strong ties with our family, friends and the wider community can help us feel happier and more supported through tough times. Here are our top tips to stay connected and tune in to community (even if it’s from a distance).

1. Ring ring

Pick up the phone or tech it up a little with FaceTime. Talking to your nearest and dearest will instantly boost your mood and take your mind off that white loungeroom wall in front of you.

2. Carve it out & keep it regular

How many times have you said to a friend “we should catch up” and it just never happens? It’s easy for to do lists, life, work or study to just get on top of you. Make sure you’re carving out time for fun and connection regularly, even if it’s just a quick cuppa. The list of jobs can wait! Your wellbeing can’t.  

3. Send it

Snail mail isn’t dead! There is nothing more personal (and surprising) than receiving a handwritten letter in the mail these days. Want to step it up a notch? Put together a care parcel. The gesture could really make their day knowing that someone cares.

4. Join an interest group

Love knitting? Started hiking your local areas lately? There are a huge range of local interest groups for every hobby where you can meet like-minded people while doing something that makes your soul sing! Google some options in your local area and look out for virtual catch ups.

5. Get Zooming

The options are endless. Join a dinner party, host a murder mystery party, schedule in a weekly trivia session, test your skills in cards, put your gut feels to the test with two truths and a lie, challenge the others with charades, home scavenger hunts… shall we continue? The connection that comes from seeing people (even through a screen) can be hugely beneficial.

6. Better out than in

No matter what method you choose to connect with your friends or family, sharing your struggles, concerns or just having a vent can help you process your feelings and help you move forward.

Not sure who to talk to?

Support is available through https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ or https://www.lifeline.org.au/ or by calling Lifeline 13 11 14  or talk to your GP directly about a plan for your mental health.

October is Mental Health Month. A month that encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have lived experience of mental illness or not. It also gives us the opportunity to understand the importance of good mental health in our everyday lives.

Images: Pinterest

Tune in to your senses this Mental Health Month

Have you ever had one of those days where everyone and everything annoys you? Maybe your day has been jam-packed with a long list of things that you HAVE to get done? Or you’re just feeling a bit off, but you don’t know why? Stop and take a breath. It sounds like it’s time to tune in to your senses and look after yourself.

Tuning in to your senses is about taking a moment to be present, aware and mindful of the way we feel. Regularly “checking in” with our emotions and how we’re feeling can help you focus your mind, get a new perspective, relax or feel more connected.

Not sure how to get started? We’ve done the hard yards and rounded up a list of tips you can turn to when life gets a little overwhelming or you just need to take ten to get zen.

1. Take 5

We know, we know! In between that big long to-do, kids, study, cleaning the house, cooking dinner and work- who has time to for anything, let alone indulging in some rest and relaxation. But the busy pace of life is exactly why we need to take a beat, pause and make sure we’re ok before we get back to the daily grind.

Tuning in to your senses doesn’t have to take forever. Take a single mindful minute (or 5 if you need it) out of your day. You can always add more if you need them.

2. Be curious

An easy way to start tuning in is to get curious with your own. Beyond Blue suggests asking yourself three key questions:

• ‘How am I feeling?’ (i.e. angry, sad, happy)
• ‘What emotions am I experiencing’ (i.e. offended, lonely, loved)
• ‘How are they affecting me’ (i.e. are these emotions giving you physical symptoms too)

Starting by just identifying what you’re feeling and letting yourself acknowledge it is the first step to feeling better. If you need immediate crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or talk to your GP about finding support to work through your emotions.

3. Get Appy

What’s one thing most of us never have more than an arm’s reach away – our phones! So, it makes total sense to have the resources you need on it!

There’s a huge range of both free and paid apps available for download that can help guide you to tune in to your senses and support your wellbeing like journaling, meditation and emotion identification. We love Calm, Mood App, Daylio and MoodMission

4. Say yes to Yoga

Yoga builds strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. Although there are so many different types of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and postures or poses that stretch and flex various muscle groups and encourage mental clarity and calmness – and common, who doesn’t need that?!

Can’t get to a class? There’s a range of great free online resources to help you exercise at home such as Yoga with Adrienne.

5. Meditation (guided or unguided)

Meditation trains you in awareness and helps get a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And in time, you may start to better understand them as well. It’s hard to shut your brain off from over thinking but keep practicing – after all, they say it makes perfect.

It can be pretty intimidating going it alone. There are a range of guided meditations to help you get into the swing of things. We love the Headspace meditation app.
Want to kick it up a notch? Add some calming smells by lighting your favourite scented candle or adding in some aromatherapy (use of essential oils) in a diffusers or aromatic spritzer. If it makes you feel better- we say go for it!

6. Breathe it out

Deep breathing for even just 1 minute can have a huge effect at calming down the body and releasing happy hormones. The 4-7-8 technique is a great place to start and something you can do whenever and wherever you need to.
Try it out! Here’s how to do it:

• Breathe in for 4 seconds
• Hold your breath for 7 seconds (yep! Hold it)
• Breathe out for 8 seconds
• Repeat this process for a minute (or as long as you need to).

7. Picasso is that you?

Art comes in so many different shapes and sizes, but you don’t have to be Picasso to reap the benefits! And that’s why it’s no surprise, that many people around the world use art as a means to deal with stress and work through their emotions. Join a group and meet some like minded people in the process or go it alone. Painting, writing, knitting, woodwork, photography, drawing – it’s all good!

October is Mental Health Month. A month that encourages all of us to think about our mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether we may have lived experience of mental illness or not. It also gives us the opportunity to understand the importance of good mental health in our everyday lives.

Images: Pinterest, quickmeme, Coffeeme.me