World Mental Health Day is today (October 10th) – a chance to look at how we can support our patients’ mental health.
The Do You See What I See? campaign aims to challenge perceptions about mental illness, encouraging everyone to look at mental illness with a more positive light to reduce stigma and make it easier to seek support and help for the one in five Australians affected by mental illness every year.
The campaign has enrolled over 700 organisations asking everyone to make a #MentalHealthPromise and to take a more positive view . The promises that have been made by individuals are at 1010.org.au The website has some suggestions for promises you may like to make and a page to post your own promise and associated image.
Stigma around mental illness remains an issue for Australians, delaying or preventing people from seeking help. The misconceptions and misrepresentations about those who experience mental illness can be damaging, including references about those suffering from mental illness as being incompetent, weak or scary and appear in the media, the arts and conversations at school, work and in the home.
The majority of people affected by mental illness are able to lead contributing and independent lives in the community with treatment and support. The website encourages a different light to look at mental illness, colour and life, resilience, bravery, recovery, hopefulness, courage, contribution and more.
To learn more about mental illness, and provide valuable resources for your patients, there are several organisations with easily accessible online information:
SANE Australia at https://www.sane.org/mental-health-and-illness
World health Organisation at http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/
To find help: see Mental Health Australia https://1010.org.au/need-help
or mindhealthconnect Guided Search Tool: https://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/
Dr Lisa Surman, CBD West Medical Centre, Perth, WA
Member of Best Practice Software’s Clinical Leadership Advisory Committee
“Often patients spend time talking about current medical and social issues, taking valuable time away from dealing with what they have really come in to discuss. One of our solutions is to direct them to news articles on our website written by a doctor in our Practice that outline current issues and offer strategies to manage the problem and links to relevant, reputable websites”.