Roadshow challenges misconceptions about mental health

Andrew Wood, Head of Health, Counselling and Disability Services at Flinders University, and Narelle Lieschke, University counsellor, with the Beyond Blue National Roadshow team.

It’s a sobering statistic that one in four Australians will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime.

Despite the prevalence of anxiety and depression in particular, many people struggle alone and don’t seek help, which in turn impacts on family and friends trying to provide support.

That is something the Beyond Blue organisation is trying to change, by demystifying mental health problems and challenging the stigma associated with seeking help.

The Beyond Blue National Roadshow team stopped by Flinders University this week with their big blue bus and spoke with students and staff who ventured across to say hello. The team also had a range of materials and resources for people to take away.

The team is in the middle of a long haul trip that will see them cover 61 Medicare Local areas, make hundreds of stops and speak with thousands of people.

Andrew Wood, Head of Health, Counselling and Disability Services at Flinders University, said the roadshow aimed to promote awareness of depression and anxiety, as well as to encourage people to pay attention to their own mental wellbeing.

“Depression and anxiety can affect people of all ages but are particularly prevalent in the 18-25 year old bracket, so it’s particularly appropriate that Beyond Blue included Flinders University on its roadshow,” Mr Wood said.

“These problems are very isolating, so the first step towards recovery can be as simple as talking to a trusted person. Conversely, if you’re concerned about someone, just asking them how they are can be really important. Starting the conversation is the key.”

You can find more information about the Beyond Blue National Roadshow here.

If you are a student at Flinders and would like support or advice about mental health issues, please go to the university’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services homepage.

Staff can access employer funded counselling via the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

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