Learn and Grow banner for NSW Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month

Learn and grow is the theme of this year’s NSW Mental Health Month, with a focus on encouraging all of us to understand the factors that impact our own mental health and to take action to improve our wellbeing. Understanding our own mental health can also help us be more attuned to the wellbeing of those around us.

Sydney North Health Network has a strong focus on psychological services and support. In the past year the organisation has embarked on a mental health needs assessment of Northern Sydney, involving a review of local data and extensive stakeholder engagement. In the months ahead, SNPHN will be commissioning new mental health services designed to meet the needs of the local community.

While the prevalence of mental illness in Northern Sydney remains lower than the state average, every day a teenager in our community will need emergency services as a result of self-harm or a suicide attempt. In fact, the largest cause of death in 15-24 years-olds in our region is intentional self-harm.

Nearly half of all Australians (45%) will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and those that don’t will most likely know someone that does.

While many services are available in the Northern Sydney region, our needs assessment and subsequent community consultation has shown accessibility to often be a barrier, particularly in terms of people being able to find the service that is right for them.

In August, we proudly announced various grants to non-government organisations that provide psychological services to vulnerable members of our community. In addition to this, we have partnered with our local headspace centres in Chatswood and Brookvale to continue providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year-olds.

Just last month, our Commissioning and Partnership team met with local stakeholders to begin commissioning and co-designing mental health services for the region. The conversation around services that meet local need has only just started. Have your say by taking part in our Mental Health Services survey.

Mental Health Month will be a busy time for Sydney North Health Network and our stakeholders, however there are also many community events you can get involved in. To see what local events are happening, CLICK HERE.

How are you feeling?

From October 10-16 the world’s first global survey on Mental Health will take place. The new app designed by Brisbane based company Spur Projects aims to connect people in real-time through a mobile up that you can log how you are feeling. The way you feel is then registered on a map which you are able to see how others around you and abroad are also feeling. The concept combats the idea of isolation and aims to normalise the feelings that often cause people to withdraw. Download the app here: http://howistheworldfeeling.spurprojects.org/takepart/

If you’re after more information on developing your mental wellbeing, you might want to visit one or more of the websites below.

beyondblue: www.beyondblue.org.au

headspace: www.headspace.org.au

Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

ReachOut (for young people): www.reachout.com