Mayor's Mental Health Challenge

Published on 06 August 2020

Councillors - Mark Honey

Mayor Mark Honey has urged our community to be aware of the mental and emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clr. Honey said with the pandemic now likely to extend beyond 2020, taking care of our mental health was critical.

“We have a world-class health system, with world-class health workers, that will help us deal with the physical effects of COVID-19,” Clr. Honey said.

“They have done a fantastic job drilling into us what are now the all-too-familiar habits to protect ourselves from this virus.”

“But it’s becoming obvious in recent months that this pandemic is taking a serious toll on our resilience, our mental health.”

“We have at our disposal in Australia some of the world’s best researchers, educators, advocates and counsellors when it comes to mental health.”

“Also schools, workplaces and sporting clubs have made great strides in making mental health part of their day-to-day operations and activities.”

Clr Honey said we all should be learning the basics of identifying when someone is struggling mentally and how to handle that situation.

“If you don’t know someone is sick, you can’t help them. The challenge for us all should be staying together while apart.”

“Even from 1.5 metres away you can still ask: R U OK?”

“Of course we shouldn’t just ask the question, we should listen for the answer, watch the body language and look for any signs that all is not well.”

Clr. Honey said he had begun regular meetings with Council staff, community leaders and mental health experts to discuss this challenge.

Council has now established an online hub: www.kiama.nsw.gov.au/mental-health

This will provide a list of mental health support services, online and printable resources and updates of local mental health initiatives and activities.

“Let’s get behind this, keep connected, keep talking.”

“These are tough times but we will get through this…together.”

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