Mental health has always been important. But now, more than ever, it’s vital that we check in with our loved ones and start a conversation around wellbeing.
And, thanks to Australia Post, this is becoming easier. In the leadup to R U OK? Day, they teamed up with Beyond Blue and delivered free mental health postcards to 3 million households around the country, sharing support for those experiencing hard times, and keeping Australia connected.
Mental health matters
With the impacts of the covid lockdowns still taking a toll, the discussion around mental health is vital to keeping Australians feeling safe and supported. According to the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2020-2021, 15% of Australians experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, and 16% of households had at least one financial stressor. Issues such as anxiety and depression are becoming increasingly common amongst all age groups, leading to poorer mental health outcomes as communities fight to maintain strong wellbeing.
But, it’s not all bad news. The survey also found that 61% of Aussies used at least one strategy to manage their mental health, and 3.4 million people saw a health professional. It seems we’re finding new ways to stay mentally fit, including exercise, positive thinking, and taking time to do things we enjoy. And, the postcards from Australia Post are only strengthening this move to greater awareness and change.
Sent with love
Feeling connected can make all the difference to someone struggling through hard times. So, Australia Post is aiming to make mental health a part of everyday conversation and build more connected communities. Their vast network of offices is spread across over 4,000 communities around Australia, putting them in the perfect position to make this change.
This isn’t the first time our letterboxes were filled with messages of love, as the postcard project was also undertaken last year. Due to the covid lockdowns, many people found themselves sending a postcard for the first time in years, allowing them to reach out to the people that matter. The mental health advice on the cards was helpful for anyone feeling lost or isolated in the unusual circumstances of the pandemic.
And, according to Australia Post General Manager Community and Stakeholder Engagement Nicky Tracey, they were also wildly popular.
“We’re thrilled with the response to this wellbeing initiative last year. It was great to hear stories of people writing postcards for the first time in years and also the joy of finding a surprise message from a loved one in their letter box.”
“This year, with many Australian households under cost-of-living and other pressures, this is a really simple way people can reach out to check in on loved ones or send messages of love and support.”
Clearly, this mental health check-in has been very impactful in the past. But what does it look like this year? And how can we make a difference?
The next step
With mental health month just around the corner, this partnership between Australia Post and Beyond Blue comes at the perfect time. Those wanting to show their support for family and friends could send their loved ones a postcard for free, containing a blank space to write a message, and a tear-off section with helpful information about staying connected for our mental health.
Executive Officer Georgie Harman says this initiative is vital in spreading important mental health messages across the country
“This postcard campaign is another way to get people talking about mental health and supporting each other,” she says.
This initiative is an example of how Aussies continue to look after each other despite tough times, and emphasises the importance of good wellbeing.
For anyone experiencing mental health concerns, or needing support, you can go to the Beyond Blue website at www.beyondblue.org.au, or try talking to your loved ones. As a community, we can ensure that everyone feels seen and connected, and it’s as simple as sending a postcard.
For those wanting to reach out to someone who is struggling, it’s important to get the conversation started, and remain open and supportive for the people that matter most.
To learn more about R U OK? Day and the need for wellbeing awareness, click here.