October is Mental Health Awareness month and we will be delivering several initiatives to help raise awareness and improve the mental health and wellness of our community and our staff.
Lost Bird Found Project
We are rolling out the final stage of the Lost Bird Found Project, which is a creative initiative to encourage conversations around mental health and make a positive impact on the community. This project was founded by North Sydney Council to help initiate conversations and help break down the barriers surrounding mental health issues. Over 400 handcrafted birds were recently created by the local community and have now been tagged as part of the Lost Bird Found project and will be placed around town centres and in libraries across the Central Coast for the community to find during October. Finders of the lost birds are encouraged to post and tag photos on the Lost Bird Found social media to help spread the message that mental health matters. The Lost Bird Found social media also provides information on mental health services.
Follow Central Coast Council Facebook and Twitter accounts during October to find clues on where the birds are hidden.
#lostbirdfoundcentralcoast @lostbirdfoundproject #lostbirdfoundproject #centralcoastcouncil
QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) training
Council has been working with the Suicide Prevention Central Coast Alliance (SPCCA) who is co-ordinating the LifeSpan Program which is an innovative, evidence-based, world-class approach to suicide prevention currently being trialled on the Central Coast.
The SPCCA has available an online evidence-based suicide prevention training program called QPR. QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer and involves 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.
As we are best placed to notice when our friends, family and those closest to us are under a lot of stress or not coping, but may not always know what to do or how to help, this training is another way Council can increase the safety of our community by building the capacity of us all to support each other.
The online free training provide staff with the:
- Knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal
- Confidence to talk to that person about suicidal thoughts
- Awareness and ability to refer to available supports
To undertake the training go to, www.suicidepreventioncentralcoast.org.au
If you or anyone you know needs help, contact Lifeline 24-hour crisis line tel: 13 11 14
10 tips to stress less
- take a step outside
- laugh each day
- list what you’re grateful for
- take fun breaks
- plant positive thoughts
- just breath through
- practice patience
- offer a helping hand
- close your eyes
- make time for exercise
Connect and Share the Journey
Connecting with others is important for all aspects of our health and wellbeing. Research tells us that feeling connected with others gives us a sense of security, support, purpose and happiness. Close connections and good relationships with others help us enjoy good times in our lives as well as cope with difficult experiences. Many of us report feeling lonely and believe loneliness is increasing in Australia. For those experiencing or living with mental health issues, loneliness can have an even bigger impact, especially when you factor in the added experiences of social exclusion and stigma.
Mental Health Month is run by WayAhead - Mental Health Association NSW, who encourage everyone to Share the Journey and connect with others, both for our own health and wellbeing, as well as theirs.
Sharing the journey can mean many things - whether you reach out to someone who might be feeling a bit lost or find a way to connect with others when you need some help, building positive social connection is something we can all try and do.
- Telling your loved ones about both your successes and difficulties
- Reaching out to people who might be withdrawing from others
- Working with someone to find and access services or support
- Asking for help with day-to-day things when you need it
- Getting involved in group activities, like sports or book clubs or other community events
- Sharing a cuppa with a mate