New campaign urges people to check in on their mates
Minister for Mental Health Roger Cook MLA has launched a new campaign to encourage men to seek help early and urge their family and friends to check in with them if they notice they aren’t going so well.
The Think Mental Health public education campaign is dedicated to improving the community’s mental health and wellbeing, and reducing the risk of suicide.
Mental Health Commissioner Timothy Marney said the initial phase of the campaign targeted men aged 25 to 54, in recognition of the higher incidence of death by suicide among this group.
“Sadly, three out of four deaths by suicide are men in that age group,” he said.
“So we’re focusing on helping that group to self-help in terms of their own mental health and wellbeing, and also on the vital support role that family and friends can play.”
The digital campaign contains a wealth of information and resources, including a Facebook page and the website – www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au – includes a mental health self-assessment checklist and check-up tool. It will be supported by a community resource kit and materials for GPs, to help people find the right help for them in their local area.
Mr Marney said the key message to take away from the campaign was not to underestimate the power of talking, listening and being there for your mates and your family.
“By taking the first step of talking to someone you trust, the risk of mental illness or suicide may be reduced and protective factors can be strengthened,” he said.
“So if you notice a mate or someone close to you isn’t going so well, check in on them.”
Half of all Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime and the Think Mental Health campaign will target additional groups as the campaign develops.
If you would like or need support, call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 for 24/7 free counselling or Lifeline in a crisis situation on 13 11 14.