Reflections on Mental Health

Wall with a sign that asks 'How are you, really?'

I have just completed the 2021 Push-Up Challenge, which is aimed at raising funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, with specific support for Lifeline and Headspace.

Throughout the 4 week challenge, which involved doing 3,318 push-ups, we were provided with facts about mental health. Some of the information was confronting, relating to mental health issues, affecting groups within our society, such as men, First Nations people, new mothers, the LGBTIA+ community, and War Veterans. 

Some of the information related to suicide, the effects of sunlight, nature, deep breathing, loneliness, sleep, exercise, Covid-19 and eating. What continually strikes me in digesting the facts associated with mental health is how prevalent it is within so many parts of our communities. There are a lot of people that struggle with mental health and their own inner demons, or those demons inflicted by others.

There are a lot of people hurting, mentally. Life is sometimes tough, and I find the balance between resilience and sensitivity difficult to resolve. I know everyone is under a lot of pressure – we all have responsibilities and commitments, but I want to help others. Whether it is supporting a school child via The Smith Family, donating blood through The Red Cross, or helping fight mental health with The Push-Up Challenge, there are ways that we can be ‘givers’ rather than ‘takers’ in our society.

I feel better for helping and the knowledge that I am assisting someone who might need the help is something that warms my heart. Studies also show that giving is actually good for your own health, whether mentally or physiologically, such as in this article from the Cleveland Clinic.

Generally, we can all help other members of our closer or wider communities. It starts from within: you need to want to help. You need to have a positive attitude about life and a desire to assist others.

If you or someone you know needs help now, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If someone is in immediate danger, call Triple Zero (000). If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about someone you know, there is help available.

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