SOMEONE in Orange wasn’t okay yesterday.
But a high visibility campaign encouraging people to seek help for depression encouraged them to talk to a mental health worker in Summer Street during the RUOK? campaign and ask for help.
Mental health clinical nurse consultant James Hindman said yesterday’s presence in the main street attracted was a step forward in spreading the word in the community about the incidence of mental illness.
“People were coming up to us and asking about the bright yellow ballons with a why symbol on them,” he said.
“Someone actually came to us asking for help and we have been able to point them in the right direction to get that help,” Mr Hindman said.
He said yesterday’s campaign in Orange is part of an ongoing program to tell people there is no stigma associated with living with a mental illness.
“It has been taboo in the past and statistics do show that one in four people will experience a mental illness in their life,” he said.
However he said the health system is now offering support and treatment at many levels.
“There is an increasing awareness that people will experience mental health problems in their life and now people can seek help 24-hours a day via a helpline,” he said.
Mr Hindman said as a mental health worker it was pleasing to see society is taking much more notice of people who are dealing with a mental illness, including depression.
“It is becoming much more recognisable,” he said.
Mr Hindman encouraged people to seek help either through the Mental Health Line or by visiting a general practitioner.
“Your GP is the one who has an excellent picture overall of your situation and they are a very good starting point, so I would encourage anyone to make an appointment and go along as that is the starting point,” he said.
Yesterday’s promotion as part of an Australia-wide campaign saw a number of stakeholders come together including NSW Health, Orange City Council, Mission Australia and Gloria Jean’s.
If you are suffering from depression or a mental illness and need help and support call the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511. This service operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week and you will be directed to the right care for your situation.