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The Time For Awareness Is Over

The Time For Awareness Is Over

by Gemma Nichols


“Mental health awareness” is a phase that we have all become used to hearing in our workplaces and in the media, particularly as we approach R U OK Day in September and Mental Health Month in October. 

Of course, the beauty of the term “mental health awareness” lies in its inherent vagueness as well as its ability to sanitise and transform a relatively taboo subject into one that doesn’t look out of place when it is plastered on brightly coloured posters or cupcakes.

For starters, when we talk about “awareness” of anything, we must accept that it is a concept that exists on a spectrum where acknowledgement of an issue sits on one end and action sits on the other.

And, while all positions on this spectrum are valuable, in modern day Australia, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t at the very least conscious of the fact that mental health is an issue that is impacting individuals in every part of our our society.

Furthermore, the persistent messaging about awareness can be extremely painful for those who have either witnessed a loved one experience a mental health battle or experienced mental health issues themselves. To those who have lived through the apparent "mental health crisis", R U OK Day comes across as too little, too late. 

So, below are a few ways to take meaningful action this R U OK Day.

1. Follow up with friends and family by going deeper than the initial "R U OK?" conversation.

2. Donate to an organisation that offers support for people who are doing it tough.

If this article has raised any mental health issues for you, the TIACS support line is available Monday to Friday, from 9AM - 5PM on 0488 846 988. Find out more at tiacs.org

2 comments


  • I am so happy that someone is actually doing something for Men’s Mental Health. I wear my shirts with great pride and when I wear them I always adhered to the code of conduct and leave myself open for any conversation. I have listen to one mans story and what I listened too that day was horrific and no one should every have to go through what that man did. He told me he wanted to end it all at the start but after our conversation and loads of tears (from both of us) he said he felt so much better and thanks for listening but what he said next really broke my heart but it is true. He said please don’t tell the boys as they will give me a hard time and that is what we have to stop and I think Trade Mutt is slowly chipping away at that.

    Lou Da Silva on

  • The message you guys spread is awesome. My shirts have started conversations with so many people when out on the road!

    Amber on

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