Mental Health organisations around the country joined forces for World Mental Health Day to bring colour to mental health. Hundreds turned out to help form a giant colourful eye on Bondi Beach, to make an invisible issue and visible and show that we are all in this together.
‘Do you see what I see?’ challenges the perception of mental illness and aims to reduce stigma by showing that everyone is in this together. Demonstrated by the positive cross-sector collaboration between Australia’s key mental health organisations including OneWave, batyr, Waves of Wellness Foundation, SANE Australia, Suicide Prevention Australia, Livin’, R U OK?, Black Dog Institute and Headspace, uniting to support everyday Australians.
The event not only promotes a positive approach to tackling an issue that affects one in five Australians, it aims to shed a new light on the mental health conversation, making it easier for people to understand how to get help or support someone facing mental health challenges.
The idea was inspired by the stock black and white photo of a person sitting with their head in their hands signifying despair, and signifying mental illness. This is stigma and stigma is still the number one barrier to people seeking help.
These organisations are urging Australians to see things differently, to see the benefit of tackling this issue so as a nation we see real reductions in the rate of mental illness affecting our community. Mental health, and mental wealth need to be seen through the eyes of a family member or close friend, and through the eyes of those in our community who don’t have the support they need – not stereotypes.
This year, for World Mental Health Day, Australia is being challenged to look at mental health through a different light, in positive bright colour, not black and white.