In October, we marked Mental Health Month in Australia. It gave us a lot to think about. According to the Australian Government Department of Health website, “almost half of all Australians aged 16 to 85 years – 7.3 million people – will experience mental illness at some point in their life.”
Most common conditions
The website goes on to say that: “The most common conditions are: anxiety; affective disorders, especially depression; and substance use disorders, especially alcohol use.”
A helpful resource
Considering the serious and expansive nature of this issue, we are always on the lookout for helpful resources to guide us – and those we work with – on the journey.
Scaling the mountain
We’ve come across a very helpful publication called Mountain Climbing, A resource for tertiary graduates with lived experience of mental illness making the transition to employment. This handy guide was published by the National Disability Coordination Officer Program (NDCO). Although it’s directed at jobseekers with mental health concerns, it’s a great opportunity for employers and those from service organisations to see things from another perspective.
Mountain Climbing is divided into six handy chapters:
- The lay of the land
- Starting the climb
- So many mountains in the range
- The summit is in sight
- Peak performance
- At the top of your game
Busting mental health myths
The resource also outlines common myths and busts them. For example: “If a person with mental illness is really motivated to work, he/she should be willing to try out any job.” And, the busted myth is: “People with a mental illness have the same right as anyone else to choose the kinds of work they do.”
In addition, there are plenty of personal stories along with a ‘work values audit’ (pages 26-27) which gives readers the opportunity to explore what’s important to them.
For an online version of Mountain Climbing, visit here. At the time of writing, we were canvasing the continent for printed copies. Unfortunately, no copies are yet forthcoming, but if we do locate any, we’ll let you know through our social media channels and they’ll be available for distribution.
We wish you all the best with your journey whether you’re a jobseeker, employer or from a service organisation.
Forrest Personnel is a local charity. We specialise in supporting people with health conditions, injuries and disabilities to find and keep jobs.
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