Today is a day for shedding much needed light on mental health. A day for changing the lingering stigma that holds many people back from seeking the help they so desperately need, and a day for supporting people who might be struggling just a little more than you are… today is World Mental Health Day 2018!
There are many campaigns circulating today that are working towards changing how we all view mental health, including ‘Do You See What I See?‘, which was created by Mental Health Australia, and is encouraging everyone to make a #MentalHealthPromise, as ALL of us can help reduce the stigma.
With one in five Australians experiencing the debilitating effects of mental illness, it is almost certain that someone you know, if not yourself, is affected and needs support.
Refugees in Australia are also more prone to mental illness due to an alarmingly large number of reasons. Not only can a refugee experience trauma from the circumstances through which they arrived in Australia, but they can also suffer from extreme feelings of fear, anger and sadness once they begin their new lives.
Imagine how hard it would be to start a whole new life in a foreign country that has very different cultural and social values than what you are used to. Now add in language barriers, your hard work and accreditations not being recognised and the loss of people you love and trust, just to name a few. It’s definitely not hard to understand how isolating this whole situation can be for refugees in Australia.
So what can be done to help?
We’ve come up with 5 effective ways to help improve on ones general wellbeing and mental health.
1. Join a cooking class!
We talk a lot about how food is a really effective yet powerful way of bonding people from various cultural backgrounds (check out our posts for more info) and this is because it is true! Not only are you able to keep your mind active with new recipes and cultures to embrace, you can interact with like-minded people over the comfort of food.
Plus the food you create is an added bonus!
2. Stay Active
Looking after yourself is one of the most important things we can do. Not only can eating well, exercising (especially outside!) and even just drinking water help with your general wellbeing, it can improve your moods and give you the energy you need.
Yoga and meditation is such an effective way to silence the mind and re-focus your thoughts away from the negative. The Yoga Impact Charity, are an amazing group who offer refugee classes that directly target overcoming trauma and providing support – or you can check out the 40 minute video from the comfort of your home, courtesy of The Yoga Impact Charity:
It is so important to talk about how you are feeling, especially if your mood is starting to negatively effect your life. Surround yourself with honest people who can give you advice and who can just be there as a friend you can count on when times are tough.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
It’s okay to not alway be okay. And we are usually our own harshest critic!
Take some time for yourself to do something that you love, or that inspires you. Join a new class, go to a concert, or take a walk in the park! Not only will this re-invigorate your passion for life, but could lead to new ideas and thoughts that can alter how you see the world.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for HELP!
Mental health awareness is at the forefront of many peoples minds – which is a good thing as there are now SO many ways you can seek out support. Don’t forget to reach out to your local communities to learn more about the services available in your area.
We’d love to hear what you think – comment below if you have any other ideas!
Written by Ariana Maric