World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, and occurs annually on 10 October. The day aims to promote global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. In Australia, World Mental Health Day is coordinated by Mental Health Australia, which hosts the informative website 1010.org.au

This years Australian campaign, “Do You See What I See?” challenges perceptions about mental illness in Australia and encourages everyone to look at mental health in a more positive light. Stigma around mental illness due to misunderstanding or prejudice remains an issue in Australia, delaying or preventing people from wanting or feeling able to seek help, and impacting adversely on their lives.

Misconceptions and misrepresentations about those experiencing mental illness are damaging to people’s lives. Below is a candid video produced by www.sane.org featuring Dov, he’s a doctor who also lives with bipolar disorder. It’s really worth the 2 minutes to watch and listen.

The reality is the vast majority of people affected by mental illness are able to lead independent and contributing lives in the community, with the right treatment and support. With one in five Australians affected, they form part of our close circles of family, friends and colleagues, and interact with us in our communities every day. It’s time to look at mental illness in a different light – a positive light.

Colour and Life, Resilience, Determination, Strength, Perseverance, Bravery, Recovery, Hopefulness, Courage, and Contribution are some of the positive themes highlighted this year.

Please make contact if you are experiencing distress and need support.