Sitting and writing this blog today, the weather is glorious. The sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful blue and it’s a lovely twenty degrees (well nearly there!), it is an opportunity to take in the good, acknowledge the positive and savour it.
Unfortunately, lurking underneath this is some alarming statistics that were reported earlier this morning. According to The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre, Australia is on the road to potentially at best see an increase in suicide deaths of close to 14% over the next 5 years. And whilst you might all be thinking that really is not so high, if you put it into real terms, one of those people making up that percentage could be someone in your family, your friendship circle, your workplace. Scary. Yep – we don’t want to hear it, but it is true.
Whilst I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer nor do I want to spoil your day, I do feel I have a responsibility to heighten your awareness of what is happening in our community, and potentially closer to home. With Covid-19 numbers potentially increasing daily, and Melbourne and all of Victoria facing really drastic lockdown measures, people are doing it tough – financially, socially and emotionally. Bombarded on all fronts and having to draw upon every ounce of their inner resources to survive. This is the perfect combination for putting people’s psychological health to test.
Everyone has their idea of what the solutions are. Let’s not get political, let’s get real and let’s get practical. Simple strategies work. Isolation means disconnection. The simple act of sending a text, making a call can show someone you care. FaceTime someone and have a cuppa together. Family meal-times can be done over Zoom – so include relatives that might be alone. Check in on elderly neighbours even if it is over the balcony or through social distancing. Get out, go for a walk. Exercise is the one of the best ways of helping you to feel better – it is not about calorie burning it is about movement. There are also many forms of exercise that you can try in the comfort of your home – how about trying something new? You never know, you could be the next Kung Fu champion!
If you need to talk to a professional there is help out there. Reach out. You don’t have to do this alone. Online services are available and they are really effective, easy to use and confidential. Let’s all support one another, let’s work together to create a better tomorrow.