The coronavirus pandemic has spurned another crisis — one to do with mental health. The stress and strain of 2020 has directly impacted the mental health of pretty much everyone, and as a result, mental health organisation Beyond Blue has had an extremely busy year.
The festive season can be the most overwhelming time of year for many people, while also being the busiest, and missed calls and unanswered emails are common in the chaos of the holiday period. As Beyond Blue points out, this can make it hard for people to find support when they do decide to reach out for help.
In order to help combat this, the mental health organisation is asking Australians to update their voicemail, out-of-office and social media spaces with messages for Beyond Blue. These messages will help break the stigma around mental health while also letting people know they can reach out to the support service if they need to.
Beyond Blue has created a helpful guide as to how you should update your various platforms. For example, when it comes to updating your voicemail message, consider changing it to the following: “I want you to know, Beyond Blue is always available if I am not. Just search: Beyond Blue always available”.
Same goes for the out-of-office message you set on your emails before finishing up work for the year. If you’re not comfortable creating your own prompt, here is something the mental health organisation has scripted for you to use:
“Hi it’s <your name>.
I’ve given my out-of-office reply to Beyond Blue this festive season because I know how important it is to find support when you need it. So I want you to know, if you reach out for support and can’t get through, you can always reach Beyond Blue.
Just search: Beyond Blue always available.
If not, I’ll respond after the holidays. Let’s chat soon.”
For your social media platforms, you can also download a handy image here (pictured below) to upload on your Instagram that lets your followers know that Beyond Blue is always available.
Alongside the image, Beyond Blue has crafted a caption you can post should you wish: “I’ve given this social space to Beyond Blue this festive season because I know how important it is to find support when you need it. So I want you to know, Beyond Blue is always available, even if I am not.”
The festive period is an extremely hard time for many people and, after a particularly trying year, could feel even more difficult this time around. Help normalise discussions around mental health by lending your voice to the conversation and update your messages this holiday period.
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here.