Stepping up to benefit mental health

A range of posters encouraging members of the Flinders community to counter bullying, discrimination and harassment is being launched on campus today.

A series of ‘Step Up’ posters and stickers carrying messages urging people to support those who experience bullying or discrimination will be launched by the Student Equal Opportunity Adviser Ms Anne Hayes as part of the University’s Mental Health Day.

Ms Hayes said the negative effects on the mental health of people who experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination is well documented.

“The biggest effect is that they feel isolated and lonely, and that nobody cares,” Ms Hayes said.

While direct intervention at the time of an incident may not always be appropriate, Ms Hayes said the campaign’s message is that the important thing to do is show an interest.

Mental Health Day is an annual event organised by the Health, Counselling and Disability Services at Flinders, and offers a range of activities, information and giveaways related to mental health and well-being.

As well as internal Flinders service providers including the School of Psychology’s Sleep Clinic, Flinders University Students’ Association and Oasis, representatives from Shine, Beyond Blue, Centacare and Mental Illness Fellowship SA will attend.

Mr Andrew Wood, Head of Health, Counselling and Disability Services, said that aim of the day is to spread the message that mental illness affects everyone directly or indirectly.

“Stigma around mental illness still prevents people getting the help they need, despite these problems being very common in the community,” Mr Wood said.

“We want people to realise the importance of professional help as well as the range of things they can do to help maintain their own sense of wellbeing and confidence.

“Support from family and friends can also play a crucial and positive role.”

 

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