In Australia 1 in 5 people experience a mental illness. That means there is a high chance that you or someone you know has seen the effects mental illness can have on a person and their family.
In 2012, through the Mental Health Report Card, consumers expressed a desire to have a voice about the services they use. As a result, the Australian Government National Mental Health Commission created an initiative called Contributing Life Conversations. Through this initiative people are encouraged to have conversations with family and friends about what gives their life meaning.
The Commission has posed four questions to help get the conversation started. From the 22nd of July through to the 11th of August 2013 The Commission wants you to meet with friends, family and coworkers to gather answers to these questions. Through these answers, it is hoped that the way mental health services in Australia will provide a much more user friendly approach.
The conversations can be held at work, in a park or online. Tamsin has opened her space so that we can have our conversation right here. I hope you’ll join us.
Question 1: What’s important to you in having a meaningful life?
For me, a meaningful life is all about balance and accepting that nothing is going to be perfect. A meaningful life is about the little things, feeling like my opinion is valid and having my voice heard. If at the end of a day I can say that I have done the best that I can, I am happy.
Question 2: What helps you to have a meaningful life?
Surrounding myself with people who love me. Counting the little things because a lot of little things add up to one big thing. Accepting that some days I can’t do everything that I want to.
Question 3: What gets in the way?
Allowing people into my life who don’t support me. Allowing my thoughts to consume me and living a stagnant life.
Question 4: What would make the biggest difference to your life?
- Spending time with friends
- Making sure to leave the house at least once a day
- Eating and sleeping well
What are your answers?
Every person matters, every conversation has meaning. If you would like to host your own conversation then head to the National Mental Health Commission website and register your details.
Image by Kent Marcus Photography