I’m sure you’ve all heard of Movember, but have you heard of Liptember? Starting on the 1st of September, Liptember is a campaign where people are sponsored to wear crazy coloured lipstick every day of the month to raise money and awareness for women’s mental health.
Mental health is important for all genders, and so at IH we want to use Liptember to increase awareness of mental health for everyone. First, here are 5 myths about mental health which need to be debunked:
- Myth: Mental health only affects a few people.
Fact: 1/5 Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness does not discriminate by gender, age, or culture. It is also incredibly likely that someone you know will experience mental illness.
- Myth: Mental illness is caused by a personal weakness.
Fact: No. It is caused by genetic, biological, social and environmental factors and is not a sign of a character flaw. If people seek help and find support, most people recover and are able to continue to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.
- Myth: The incidence of mental illness has been exaggerated by doctors.
Fact: Mental health disorders are real and do cause significant suffering. Although the incidence of mental illness is increasing, it is due to more people having the courage to seek help – rather than feeling as though they can’t because they could be discriminated against or suffer from stigma.
- Myths: Since more people are seeking help for their mental illnesses, does that mean they are no longer experiencing stigma?
Fact: No. Stigma and discrimination is still present, and it is still one of the major reasons why people who are suffering from mental health problems do not seek help early. It has been reported that 3/4 people with a mental illness have experienced stigma.
- Myth: There’s nothing I can do to help reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.
Fact: You can play a big role in helping reduce discrimination, and creating a community which supports recovery. This can be done by:
- Offering support to people when they are physically or mentally unwell.
- Not labelling or judging people with a mental illness. Treat them with the same respect and dignity you would anyone else.
- Speaking up about the false beliefs and negative stereotypes portrayed in the media.
- Increasing your understanding by learning more about mental health and illness.
Now that you know how important it is to increase awareness and understanding about mental health, join the IH Liptember team or support the team by donating to the cause. All proceeds are donated to Lifeline and the Centre for Women’s Mental Health.