Mental health awareness week – October 2014

1 in 4 people will be diagnosed with mental health in their lives. It doesn’t discriminate, knows no boundaries with class, race or gender. They often cannot recognise their own illness and rely on community awareness and support.

Changing minds – ABC1 8.30pm


This wonderful three episode series concludes tonight. It was filmed at Liverpool hospital last year, and shows a rare glimpse of legal hearings, electroshock therapy (ECT) and the effect mental health has on on immediate family members.

We have been watching the series avidly, more so because my husband works at Liverpool hospital. One of the scenes filmed shows a patient names Jeffrey who sketches a bridge that he can see from the garden where he sits. He describes the bridge as his bridge to freedom.

In response to this scene, my husband said ironically, “that is the bridge to the car park that I speed over every afternoon to rush home.”

We both laughed, and then had a moments pause. I said what we were both thinking; “how sad for Jeffrey, that he sees a bridge that you take no notice of, as his road to freedom.”

Life with mental health


Like Jeffrey, many individuals who have mental health, cannot see clearly and have delusions. However, this scene really showed me how much our clarity in thinking is taken for granted. We assume freedom to drive, live our lives comfortably with our families, working in a level of capacity and making decisions for ourselves, is available and expected. The simple act of driving over a bridge seen by one as an escape and another as his saviour for freedom, spoke of the divide between mental wellbeing and mental illness.


Mental health awareness week 2014 runs from the 5-10 Oct. Community awareness into the lives of individuals with mental health is crucial. Understanding, breaking down social stigma and treating mental health as a disease needs to be our top priorities. Join the conversation and show your support #mentalas

To donate to mental health research call 1300 090 090

Lifeline 13 11 14

KidsHelpline 1800 55 1800

If you need immediate help or would like to discuss your mental health please visit your doctor.


About Dinethra Menon

Dinethra Menon is a freelance medical writer based in Sydney with over a decade of medical communications expertise. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a post graduate diploma in genetic counselling.

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