7 October 2022

To mark Mental Health Week (9-16 October) members of Mind Australia’s Lived Experience Advisory Team are sharing their wellbeing tips based on their own personal experiences.

Mind’s Lived Experience Advisory Team (LEAT) is a group of Mind clients, carers and family who help Mind (and the broader mental health system) to be person-centred in everything they do. They provide strategic advice and insights to our CEO and Executive group, along with senior leadership and guidance across our operations, research and advocacy, communications and innovation functions.

In discussing Mental Health Week 2022 members of the team talked about stigma and discrimination and how it is dehumanising - how it diminishes people with mental health challenges and also puts them in a box.

“Like many marginalised groups in society, people living with mental health challenges are often stereotyped, stigmatised, discriminated against and put people into a box,” Julian, a Lived Experience Advisory Team member, said.

This year, Mind’s Lived Experience Advisory Team decided on the theme of ‘breaking out of the box’.

“We reflected on the wisdom we gained from our lived experience, and came up with the idea for sharing our own tips for breaking out of the box.

“Everyone’s experience is unique, so we decided to ask people outside of the group to share their tips as well, that way it promotes conversations about mental health, mutual learning and making connections with others.”

Mind has a long history of delivering lived experience approaches to mental health care and we firmly believe in the value and expertise of those with lived experience of mental ill-health and recovery to inspire hope and foster the recovery of others.

By sharing their own personal strategies for mental health and wellbeing and overcoming discrimination, the Lived Experience Advisory Team hope we can all contribute to de-stigmatising and normalising conversations about mental illness, mutual learning and improving mental wellbeing.

Mind Australia’s Lived Experience Advisory Team’s wellbeing tips

Mental Health Week infographic - text below image

Be active – “Regular exercise gives me the best results in terms of my mental health – my routine is 10 minutes of fast walking, 10 minutes of jogging, 10 minutes of running and a few minutes of walking.” – Anna, consumer and carer representative.

Connect with nature – “It can be a walk in the park, being creative in the garden or sitting under a tree – being outdoors is something we can all do.” – Felicity, carer representative.

Surround yourself with positive influences – “Listening to and watching positive, encouraging and self-esteem building podcasts and videos is something that often helps me. And finding, connecting and interacting with supportive people who understand.” – Sofie, consumer and carer representative.

Tap into your creative side – “For me it’s drawing and painting, but for others it can be music, dancing, signing or even baking. Doing art helps me with my mood and to de-stress. It also helps me express what I can’t express using words.” – Sammy, consumer representative.

Slow down – “Think the situation through calmly before taking any actions, and act in the same controlled and measured manner when the time is right.” – Jim, carer representative.

Create a flexible routine – “Routine is very important for anyone who struggles with mental health, even if you are in the early stages of recovery. My routine includes getting out into the community and doing something meaningful.” – Julian, consumer representative.

Interact with others – “Connecting with someone can make you smile, laugh and change your mood completely. It could be a friend, a family member, a random person at the bus station or even an animal.” – Julian, consumer representative.

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.