Today marks the start of Queensland Mental Health Week, a week dedicated to increasing awareness of mental health issues as well as the positive initiatives that can assist with health and wellbeing.It’s a week which recognises the ongoing mental health struggles faced by many Australians, and the lack of open dialogue about these challenges.
For us, this topic hits especially close to home as the mental health issues faced by those in the legal profession are 3 times more prevalent than the national average. It’s also something we’re quite aware of given how many clients we assist with psychological injury claims – for psychological distress relating to accidents, injuries or mistreatment in the workplace.
This year, the Queensland Mental Health Week theme encourages us all to value mental health, with six steps to focus on positive mental health and valuing our own wellbeing:
- Be Active: do what you can, find something active that you enjoy, get moving and improve your mood (exercise is proven to boost mood).
- Keep Learning: embrace new challenges and opportunities, surprise yourself by being open to things.
- Connect: talk, listen, be present and be there for others.
- Give: your time, your words, your thoughts and your presence.
- Take Notice: notice and remember the little simple things that give you joy;
- Care for our planet: it’s the home we all share and it’s our only one.
The week itself is also built around World Mental Health Day, on the 10th of October, which focuses on ‘Do you see what I see’. This focus is based on the fact that although at least 1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental illness, very few seek help due to persisting stigma.
The aim of the day is to shed more positive light on mental illness - to openly discuss conditions, challenges, triggers, healthy coping mechanisms and to find out who is experiencing these challenges. It’s an important day that helps encourage all of us to break down walls, fight stigma and stop hiding the challenges some of us face – because there is no shame in any of it.
This Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day we have encouraged the Gouldson Legal team to open a dialogue with someone around them about any challenges they are facing, or have faced in the past.
Given the statistics, we know that it’s almost certain that a number of our team have or are facing mental health challenges. Talking about this topic is important to us as a firm – because of the way we approach our team and because of the statistics and issues that plague our industry.