Working together to promote favourable mental health outcomes

CO.AS.IT.’s commitment to raise awareness and support mental health preventative activities is strong. In April this year, the organisation held a community information discussion named Healthy Body – Healthy Minds. This was followed by a professional training session for the staff a few months later. The Bullying and Harassment training, in July, aimed at informing about lawful and unlawful workplace behaviours in order to foster a culture nurturing respect and inclusion in the workplace.

Again, late in the month of August, the Association supported a fundraising dinner dance held at the Maiella Club in Thomastown, which was organised by the Unione Abruzzesi di Melbourne to promote the work carried out by Beyond Blue Foundation. Statistically, one in five adults in Australia is affected by mental illness. The most common types of presentation from this group of illness are depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders. What is significant to emphasise is that with appropriate support and treatment most people with mental illness are able to lead rewarding and fulfilling lives in the community. But, it does take courage to begin the conversation, as the guest speaker said at Maiella Club. CO.AS.IT. not only recognises the importance of mental wellbeing at a personal level but it has processes in place to report grievances openly and without fear of retribution.

Fear of negative prejudice, stigma, social isolation, the risk of jeopardising employment opportunities, not knowing how to approach the subject is a real hurdle for many people living with the illness or living with a person suffering from a mental health disorder. So, if someone you care about needs help, here are some organisations that can assist in taking the first step towards sustainable living management:

Beyond Blue Foundation – is a national non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental disorders. For more information call 1300 224 636 or visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au

Grief Line – is a not-for-profit organisation providing together with care and support, telephone and online counselling services for people suffering from loss and grief. For more information call 1300 845 745 or visit https://griefline.org.au

Mind Spot Clinic – is a national free telephone and online mental health clinic providing assessment and treatment for anxiety, depression, low mood or stress. For more information call 1800 614 434 or visit https://mindspot.org.au

R U Okay Foundation – is a not-for-profit national organisation working to empower people in how to start conversations or have meaningful chats at home, at work, in social environments and recreational settings for the prevention of suicide. For information contact the organisation by visiting https://www.ruok.org.au

QLife – is a national counselling and referral service providing anonymous peer support over the telephone or web-chat for people of diverse genders and sexualities. For more information call 1800 184 527 from 3pm to midnight or visit https://qlife.org.au

SANE Australia – is a national not-for-profit organisation working to support people affected by complex mental illness including schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression and anxiety. For more information call 1800 187 263 or visit https://www.sane.org

Lifeline – is a national not-for-profit free 24-hours telephone crisis support line also providing suicide prevention services. To chat with someone call 13 1114 or visit https://www.lifeline.org.au/

Kids Help Line – is a national, 24 hours/seven days a week, free, private and confidential telephone and online counselling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years old. For more information call 1800 551 800 or visit https://kidshelpline.com.au

Headspace – a national youth mental health initiative, focusing specifically about accessible and effective services for young people with mental illness, substance use disorders and issues associated with sexual identity. For more information call 1800 650 890 or visit https://headspace.org.au