Mental health matters, and in October, ECEC are encouraged to take action to protect it
In the lead up to World Mental Health Day, to be acknowledged on Saturday October 10, those who work in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector are being encouraged to join the rest of the country in making a mental health promise.
Mental Health Australia is encouraging everyone to make a promise in October (which is Mental Health Month) to “Look after your mental health, Australia,” in a call to action for the one in five Australians affected by mental illness annually, and for the many more impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the increased uncertainty and anxiety that has ensued.
“The more individuals and organisations who commit to promoting mental health awareness this month and support the campaign, the more we reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health and play our part in creating a mentally healthy community,” a Mental Health Australia spokesperson said.
For a simple introduction to activities and actions that support the development and maintenance of good mental health, a calendar has been created, which contains simple actions such as cooking a favourite meal for dinner, phoning a friend, and sitting outside in the sun, all of which can help to boost or maintain good mental health.
While looking after mental health can mean different things for different people, the intent of the World Mental Health Day campaign is to raise awareness around some of the more common things that can work, as well as encouraging people to seek help if they need it.
In 2020, Mental Health Australia CEO Dr Leanne Beagley said, there has been an increased focus on the mental health of communities, in light of the challenging circumstances evoked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are continually breaking down stigma by talking about our mental health, and focussing on it during these uncertain times, but as well as talking about it, we need to act, and that action can start with making a promise to yourself to look after your mental health.”