Sharing mental health stories to make a positive impact

Volunteer with MIEACT, share your mental health story, help reduce stigma, and encourage others to seek help. Visit mieact.org.au Photo: Shutterstock.
Volunteer with MIEACT, share your mental health story, help reduce stigma, and encourage others to seek help. Visit mieact.org.au Photo: Shutterstock.

It would come as no surprise to anyone that 2021 has seen a huge increase in schools and workplaces seeking mental health education programs.

MIEACT says that their service delivery is now three and a half times that of the previous financial year, particularly in schools. In February alone MIEACT delivered a year's worth of programs compared to 2019.

MIEACT volunteer mananger Ben Triglone believes this is due to an acknowledgement of how tough 2020 was, and a desire for teachers to get onto the front foot in 2021.

"2020 was a year most of us would like to forget - bushfires, hailstorms and then the pandemic," Ben said.

"Multiple studies have shown how much the mental health of students have suffered as a result, and schools and workplaces are now seeking help to proactively equip their staff and students with the strategies to meet those concerns," he said.

"MIEACT delivers evidence-informed programs, partnered with lived experience stories shared by our team of volunteer educators that increase mental health literacy, promote early intervention, reduce stigma and emphasise recovery."

Volunteer educator Anthony has been sharing his story for MIEACT for eight years. At first, Anthony thought his experience of anxiety and depression would never be something a job description would include.

"I was quite excited that not only would MIEACT understand where I was coming from, they actually saw my experience as something that would have a positive impact," said Anthony.

"I've had some amazing interactions with people. I had a man tell me that I saved his life. I shared something that he was able to see in himself and he decided, 'I need to change, to do things better,' and that was fantastic."

Ben says MIEACT is always looking for more volunteers.

"They're everything to MIEACT. We wouldn't exist without our volunteers. It's so important right now that we normalize conversations about mental health - there are so many people out there hurting who just need to be told that it's completely normal, that they're not alone, and that there is help for them," Ben said.

To volunteer with MIEACT, share your mental health story, help reduce stigma, and encourage others to seek help. Visit mieact.org.au

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