Suicide is currently one of the biggest killers of men in Australia and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are silently destroying communities, families and individuals throughout rural Australia. Having grown up in rural communities we have witnessed the consequences of untreated mental illnesses. We have also seen how the voice of depression supresses people in a space of isolation and the toll it takes on people who are suffering and their loved ones. It is in this space where people feel and appear unreachable, helpless and in severe cases – hopeless. The fact it’s a mental condition automatically makes it hard to diagnose and to treat; and even harder to talk about.
Our western ideas of treatment are based around medication and quick fixes; however mental illness doesn’t always work like that – highlighting the fact that as a community we are still very uneducated about the issue and how to face it. While it must be noted that there has been a large influx in campaigns which raise awareness about the issue; there has been few solutions raised.
It is important to understand that every case is and will continue to be vastly different – however what will always be the common denominator in cases of mental illness is a damaged or lost self worth. When someone loses their self worth they lose their purpose. Without a purpose what kind of life are you living? We are fortunate enough to live in a free country therefore everything we do - we chose to do it; and therefore, we do it out of a purpose (e.g love, financial, moral beliefs etc). When we forget our purpose, when we forget why we are living – we forget who we are. We become lost in our own minds.
So if we are lost, if our mind turns against us, what is medication going to do? It might produce more or different hormones which could make us feel better temporarily; but it hasn’t found us. It’s like putting a band aid on a splinter, it will reduce the pain and hide the wound; but until the splinter (depression/ anxiety) is dug out you will carry the pain with every step.
Therefore, the treatment needs to come from within. The only person who can fight the poisonous voice of depression is you and the only person who can find you when your lost is you. We like to use the analogy of learning to swim; no one can do it for you; but they can teach you. Many people don’t know how to start their road to recovery, and that’s why we are embarking on our campaign.
We want to reach each corner of rural Australia to give everyone the tools they need to overcome their mental battle. We believe education will outlast donation; by teaching people how to reconnect with themselves we can also reconnect communities to become better at monitoring one another’s wellbeing - leaving no one behind and fighting the illness with unity.
We are doing this to make a difference. A physical and noticeable different in rural communities. No one deserves to live a life in the dark, a life without purpose, or a life feeling lost; but everyone deserves the help and the opportunity to heal themselves.
This is why we are launching our campaign.
The starting action for our campaign was the Mongolian Derby - a 1,000km horse race across Mongolia. Sally competed in this race in August 2019 - more info about her race can be found on our Facebook page.
We are now in our second and more important stage whereby we are running the positive mental health workshops. The schedule for these workshops can be seen below:
Duration: 2 Hours
Speaker: Nicole Gibson
Topic: Positive Mental Health; The non-clinical version
What to bring: Yourself!
What to expect in these sessions:
Compassion isn’t just a ‘nice idea’, it’s a strategy for life. Compassion and love are a skillset that can be learnt and implemented firstly in the relationship you have with yourself, and then extend to others in your life.
Do you ever feel like you're always getting in your own way? That you're battling feelings of darkness, stress, anxiety and helplessness? Or that the critic in your mind is winning?
There really is a way to liberate yourself from these thoughts and feelings.
When we strip it all back; humans have remarkable similarities. Patterns in what we want and need; beginning with our first fundamental need to be seen, be heard and be accepted. Come and learn how to practice self-love, how to look after your health, how to connect more meaningfully with others and most importantly; how to overcome an epidemic of mental ill-health as a community.
- Nicole Gibson.