beyondblue celebrates Mental Health Week with a message for all Australians to make their mental health a priority

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THIS Mental Health Week (October 4-10), beyondblue is encouraging all Australians to put their mental health first and take positive steps in their lives to improve their mental wellbeing.

• This week, beyondblue will conduct a live webchat on Thursday, October 8 with Dr Stephen Carbone for a GP’s tips on staying mentally healthy and how to get the best out of your relationship with your doctor.
• Good mental health tips will be promoted on social media throughout the week.
• New National Workplace Program teaching materials released promoting good mental health in the workplace.

Following on from the success of beyondblue’s first live webchat on World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, there will be a second live chat event on Thursday 8 October with beyondblue’s Policy, Evaluation and Research Leader Dr Stephen Carbone, who is a General Practitioner, to answer questions and provide advice and tips for maintaining good mental health: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/connect-with-others/online-forums/staying-well

beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said with one in six Australians experiencing depression or anxiety or both at any given time, most people would know someone with a mental health problem.

“There are things we promote at beyondblue, such as making time to see friends and family, maintaining a good diet and getting regular exercise, and enough sleep, which reduce the risk factors that can lead to depression or anxiety,” he said.

“Untreated mental health conditions not only cost Australian workplaces $11 billion a year, but untreated depression is also a big risk factor for suicide.”

“This shows the need to take action both at home and at work; making changes in your personal life can boost mental health and reduce the risk of experiencing depression or anxiety, while workplaces that make mental health a priority will see an improvement in their company’s bottom line.”

This week, beyondblue will begin using new, updated National Workplace Program teaching materials to help employees at all levels of an organisation understand how to promote good mental health in their workplace.

The sessions, delivered by trained facilitators, are tailored for senior executives, entire organisations, managers, HR professionals or employees.

Since the program was established in 2004, more than 100,000 participants have taken part in in the program from 1000 organisations.

New material in the training includes understanding suicide, how to have a conversation with someone you are concerned about, new personal stories videos and how leaders can create mentally healthy resources.

“In these materials, we have addressed tricky questions, such as how to manage someone with depression and/or anxiety appropriately and how to support a worker,” Mr Kennett said.

“These answers, along with further information from the Heads Up website will equip people with ways to implement positive changes in their workplaces.

“The commitment to create a mentally healthy workplace needs to be organisation wide, from the most senior executives to the most junior staff members. Everyone has a role to play, from individuals making sure they look after their own mental health, to leaders implementing mental health action plans across the organisation.”

To register to take part in a NWP session, visit: https://www.headsup.org.au/training-and-resources/educational-programs/beyondblue-national-workplace-program

For more information on Heads Up, visit www.headsup.org.au