Support Mental Health Campaigns: LIPTEMBER & RUOK? DAY!

It's September and that means time to support two of my favourite mental health campaigns--Liptember and RUOK? Day.

Mental health issues can block people from pursuing, achieving, or even having goals. Thanks to excellent awareness campaigns, the stigma about mental illness is reducing and people are feeling more supported and safe to talk openly about these issues.

So today, I thought I would tell you about two of my favourite Aussie mental health campaigns that both happen to take place in September!

The first one is LIPTEMBER!

This is a campaign that combines two of my main passions in life: women’s mental health and wellbeing & wearing lipstick!

​Since 2011, the Liptember campaign has encouraged people to #sharethelippy and start the conversation about women’s mental health issues. The reason for the focus on women is that the majority of mental health research has been based on male participants (including medication research), but the findings have been applied to men and women. This means that many current intervention and prevention strategies may not be as effective for women as they are for men.

During the month of September, Liptember both raises awareness and fundraises to support women’s mental health initiatives and research. You can get involved by going directly to Liptember.com.au & becoming a fundraiser, or making a donation, or by buying something from the Liptember shop. The Liptember box is a great gift for the women in your life-hint hint!

The organisations that receive funding from Liptember are:

  • The Jean Hailes Clinic: supporting research into mental health for older women.

  • The Royal Women's Hospital: supporting women's health services & research

  • Lifeline: supporting Lifeline’s online crisis chat service

  • Magpie Nest: supporting the homeless and disadvantaged

  • Pretty Foundation: supporting resources and programs that help educate young girls to be confident about themselves including have a healthy body image.

  • Batyr: supporting school programs that reduce the stigma around mental ill-health and empower young people to reach out for support.

Another important campaign this month is RUOK? Day on September 12th . RUOK? Day was started by Gavin Larkin in 2009 to try to raise awareness and prevent suicide in honour of his father who died by suicide in 1995. This campaign has been described as a “National Conversation Movement” giving Australians the skills and strategies to support people who are struggling with life.

A US academic, Dr. Thomas Joiner, who also lost his father to suicide, has come up with a theory based on his research that there are three factors that contribute to suicidal behaviour: (1) the person thinks they’re a burden on others; (2) the person thinks they can no longer tolerate a high degree of emotional pain; and (3) the person doesn’t feel connected to others.

RUOK? DAY is about assisting with helping people connect by having meaningful conversations about life on a regular basis so that we are all protected from suicide.

Find out more on the RUOK? website.

Dr. Lillian Nejad is a clinical psychologist based in Melbourne, click here to learn more.

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