Saturday marks World Mental Health Day, and October Mental Health Month, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world.
At Cisco, the team is changing the conversation about mental health, encouraging people to talk about mental health openly. And in the lead up to world mental health day, we’re getting behind national charities close to our hearts to raise funds to help those in need, and strive for better mental health for us all.
At this time, technology can enable these organisations to connect with people in times of need, as more people reach out to these support services.
Lifeline provides all Australians with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. This month, Lifeline has received more calls than ever in its 57 year history, with 3,326 calls in one day. To raise awareness and funds for mental health services, Lifeline have created a virtual garden in which you can plant a flower to pledge to support mental health, through donation. You can donate here.
The Cisco ANZ team is supporting this initiative, to raise awareness and hope for the Lifeline Virtual Garden, with all donations matched by Cisco. A few members came forward to share why they are donating a virtual flower.
A helpful phone call – Jem
I had a very helpful phone call with Lifeline in November last year. A friend of mine has been going through a mental health battle over the past two years. Another friend and I reached a point where we didn’t know what to do or how to help, we felt as though our words weren’t enough and that we needed to act early. There was one day in particular that was extremely challenging and scary – we didn’t know what to do and we knew time was of the essence.
I remembered seeing ads for Lifeline in the past, so I picked up the phone, unsure of what to expect or even say.
I explained the situation and expressed my panic/urgency. The operator was very calm and talked me through some options and actions that we could take. She helped me to think clearly and think fast. These situations are very overwhelming, and a service like Lifeline is there to help you work through and provide the right support.
I often think back to this phone call and am grateful for this service. Lifeline helped me give helpful advice to my friend and prepared me with some actions I could take if the situation worsened.
Why I’m sharing my flower – Adela
In the lead up to world mental health day, I’m reflecting on those affected by depression, particularly a close member of my family who is no longer with us. I’m sharing a flower to anyone in need to let them know there is help out there, there are people that care.
My flower is an extension of my hope, for those who need support, to know it is there when they need it need it most.
World Mental Health Day is a reminder for us to take steps to support our own mental health, and check in with those around us. As we all find ways to manage and deal with the challenges through this pandemic, let’s take time to check in on one another. A conversation can make all the difference.
If this blog has raised concerns for you, contact Lifeline here.