What role will you play?
On Sunday April 18th, the Hawthorn and Melbourne football clubs played for the annual Beyond Blue Cup at the MCG here in Melbourne.
This event has been held for the last 16 years and its purpose is to provide an opportunity for Beyond Blue to continue its mission in both raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental health conditions.
This year the theme for the Beyond Blue Cup was ‘Play Your Role’.
When it comes to playing Australian rules football, or any sport for that matter, having a strong network of teammates that you can rely on is essential. And it's no different when it comes to managing your mental health.
In this year's campaign, Beyond Blue has identified for key roles that we could all play in looking after our teammates: look, ask, listen, and support.
- “I will look out for you.”
Remember to look out for teammates, family, and friends whose behaviour might have changed. Learn to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions.
- “I will ask how you are going.”
Regularly asking after family, friends, and colleagues is a great way to show that you truly care about them. It might be as simple as saying “How are you going at the moment?” or “Is there anything you'd like to chat about?”
- “I will make time to listen.”
Taking the time to listen to friends, family, and colleagues who might be struggling with things in their lives – even if it's just for a quick chat – can be the most precious gift you can give someone. It's important we listen without judgement, without interruption, and without attempting to ‘fix’ things for them.
- “I will support you.”
Let your teammates know you are there for them and that you will offer support whenever they need it. Asking “What can I do to help you?” might be just the medicine they need right now.
So, what role will you play?
Will you look out for others and notice if there are changes in their behaviours?
Will you ask your friends family and colleagues how they going?
Will you make time to listen to someone who is struggling with life right now?
Will you offer support to those you care about and guide them to the professional health resources they may need?
The ball is in your court now. I urge you to take action.
Who knows? You just might save a life.