RAAF: ADF Mental Health Day launched

The Chief of Defence Force has initiated an ADF Mental Health Day to coincide with the World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2013.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO said „the aim of the activity is to promote and support mental health fitness within the ADF through activities that promote good mental health and wellbeing and to help you know when, how and where to seek help for yourself, your family and your mates.” He added that „maintaining good mental health is a key component of the Australian Defence Force’s overall capability and is one of Chief of Defence Force’s biggest priorities as we recognise the considerable demands that can be placed on members and their families.

This year’s theme recognises the link between a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind. There are a number of simple self-care steps that can be taken in order to help reduce stress and prevent mental health disorders. They include exercising and maintaining fitness, eating a balanced diet, moderation of alcohol and caffeine, and spending time with family and friends. These activities can all contribute to building resilience and improving both physical and mental health.

„I understand the importance of caring for our people and the ADF has developed accessible treatment programs for our personnel affected by mental health issues.” said Air Marshal Brown. „We need to seek help early if we are having problems as this will improve the chance of recovery and return to duty.”

As part of the ADF Mental Health Day 2013 Air Force Commanders will facilitate discussions with their personnel focussed on the ADF theme for Mental Health Day 2013 – the link between healthy living and good mental health.

„I encourage you all to actively participate in open and honest discussions about mental health issues during the ADF Mental Health Day and to improve your awareness of the range of support services available to you and your families” said Air Marshal Brown. „I also encourage you to seek help early if you are feeling stressed or think that you may have a mental health issue” he said. „To be an effective Air Force, we must ensure that our people are prepared and supported throughout their career.”

The all hours support line for ADF members and their families, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week, is 1800 628 036 (outside Australia +61 2 9425 3878).

See here for useful mental health and wellbeing contacts and links http://www.defence.gov.au/health/dmh/i-contacts.htm

Read more about the ADF Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan http://www.defence.gov.au/health/dmh/docs/Mental_Heath_Wellbeing_Plan_FINAL.pdf

Source / Author: RAAF