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OzHelp CEO: Lessons in Mental Health from Anzac Day

I joined old friends and colleagues yesterday in the Anzac Day march at the Australian War Memorial.  This day every year is an important time of reflection, remembrance and acknowledgement of the service and sacrifice of our veterans past and present.  It is important that we remind ourselves that the daily freedoms we are so fortunate to enjoy in our great country have been hard won – that living in a civilised, peaceful and free society is a human right and privilege but not one enjoyed by all and often great sacrifice and continued vigilance is required to maintain those freedoms.  This is an important day, not just for the veterans themselves but also their families, friends and indeed our whole community.

As a former serviceman it is also an important time of reunion and re-connection and yesterday was a salient reminder to me of the real and significant importance of friendship, camaraderie and social connections to our mental health and ongoing wellness.  It was a reminder to me that those connections and friendships formed under adversity and challenge are sustaining and remain strong many years later.

We come together only once a year as we do on Anzac Day and it is a significant event in our national calendar.  But imagine if we could hold the strength of our friendships and support to colleagues in a similar way on a daily basis.  Imagine the collective impact and benefits to our mental health and social cohesion if we could do that more consistently and strongly across all workplaces and within our communities across the nation.

As you go forward in your daily lives I encourage you to reinvest in those friendships and social connections that help sustain you and keep you healthy and strong, and in our practise with our clients to remind them to do the same.

Darren Black
CEO OzHelp Foundation


For anyone who requires urgent help or support, please contact the following National 24/7 Crisis Services



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