There's one article I regret writing. Here's why.
A couple of months ago, I started revisiting the articles I’ve written for Open Source Thinking. Open Source Thinking is where I share my thoughts on how I think we could pursue a suicide-free society, and I wanted to have a read of my previous work to gain some perspective on where Running for Resilience (R4R) has been, where we’re heading, and whether there had been any material changes in my thinking. Overall, it was a useful exercise and emboldened my belief that we’re on the right track, but there was one article that made me cringe when I read it…
It doesn’t make me cringe because of the content. Largely, I still maintain the perspectives expressed and the underpinning sentiment I had when I wrote it; Mental Health has improved in the past century, but it has worsened in the past decade. The Government is increasing its support of the Mental Health sector, but its expenditure is 18.3% of what it costs the economy… not to mention the intangible damage and heartache.
It makes me cringe because it’s not in line with what R4R stands for.
Since day one, R4R has been about effort. We’ve turned down donations and to this day, we haven’t accepted any. The only way people can contribute to R4R is through effort; by turning up, taking part, helping out, and advocating for our message. The only way businesses can contribute is by leveraging what’s available to them already, to help strengthen our community.
In hindsight, whilst I tried to avoid it, the subtle undertone of the article is that the Government needs to do more, and whilst this might be the case, it violates R4Rs golden thread of logic. We believe that the first step in making Canberra suicide-free is becoming more individually resilient, which starts with us. We believe the next step is to increase our communities capacity to help those who fall over, which continues with us.
At this stage, our sphere of influence ends there, and it’s conveniently where the sphere of influence for Government and other services start. We have always prioritised the notion that in order to have a mentally healthy society, we need more effort, and whilst we might write a letter to our pollies in the future, for now, we’ll continue to prioritise what we can control.
Looking after ourselves and looking after each other.
Just. Keep. Moving.
Bus it to the Brumbies!
Next weekend, the mighty Brumbies take on the feeble Waratahs. As you might already know, R4R Co-Founder Benny A is Brumbies legend and Sammy Schuey (The Strongest Handshake on the Foreshore) is a diehard Waratahs fan.
For those interested in adding fuel to fire that is this rivalry, The Dock has a bus going from the pub to the game, and back to the pub again. The timings are yet to be confirmed, but they’ll likely be a departure from the Dock at 6:30pm on Saturday, April 1st.
Absolutely think that as individuals we need to do what we can to help rather than waiting for the government to do something.
I believe education plays a huge role in this, there is a huge need to understand trauma and the experience of others to enable us to be more compassionate humans. We need to be less judgemental of others so that they feel they can open up about their story and their struggles. We need more meaningful conversations, but meaningful conversations are vulnerable and vulnerability is hard. I think it's the fear of judgement that makes us too afraid to have meaningful conversations.
R4R has already shown how much community impacts mental health, people know that if they need someone they can turn up to R4R and somebody will be there.
I agree more effort is required. But how are people going to have the energy to put in the effort?