Now’s the time to stay in touch

By Josh Willie

Member for Elwick


UNFORTUNATELY, people say or hear the term ‘mental health’ they often think in standard and stereotyped ways.

They might think of telephone counselling services, seeing a medical professional or even being prescribed medication.

Reaching out for services and seeking help might seem simple on face value but there can be many barriers and people continue to suffer in silence.

People are sad and alone, they feel scared and hopeless.

Feelings such as these can become all-consuming and interfere with our lives in profound ways.

It can disturb our sleep, make it hard to concentrate, put stress on our relationships or even make getting out of bed difficult.

Access to services are important, but so is community awareness.

Former Richmond Footballer Shane Tuck’s recent death is a tragic reminder that mental health struggles can impact anyone at any point in time.

As his dad Michael Tuck said, “a lot of men think they’re all right and they’re actually not, and the best help they can get is telling people actually how bad they are, and not saying, I’m all right, I’m all right.”

As Michael said, we need to talk about it and have the confidence to reach out.

Mitch McPherson from Speak Up Stay ChatTY has made a huge difference in recent years by raising awareness in the community.

Every day he works to promote positive mental health and prevent suicide by normalising conversations about mental health and encouraging people to seek help when they need it.

I first met Mitch when he visited my classroom to speak with students during Speak Up Stay Chatty’s infancy.

Since then, we have become friends and I am continually inspired by his outlook and ability to recount his family’s own tragic experience in an effort to help others.

COVID-19 has been a difficult time for all of us.

That is why Mitch and I are hosting a mental health community morning tea in the northern suburbs on 8 September at 10:30am.

Numbers are limited due to social distancing.

Please contact my office on 6212 2306 to register.

Now is the time to have a conversation and support each other.

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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