HOW LIVED EXPERIENCE CAN LEAD THE WAY AT TIMES LIKE THIS

Most Australians are probably thinking that people like me will now be crawling under their doonas and assuming the fetal position. After all, the mentally ill are weak and crumble easily. Which of course, is bullshit. We’re actually stronger than many of our mentally healthy colleagues.

We’ve experienced the uncertainty that comes from the depths of depression and extremes of anxiety. We know what it’s like to live with our lives out of kilter. We have the tools to navigate the roughest of weather. With the exception of a tragic few, we know how to press on feeling alienated from others. And we know that the sun really will shine again. It just may take a while.

In short, we know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and hopeless – yet survive. And often flourish. My point is this: Many mentally healthy Australians will begin to suffer as we have in the not so distant future. And those of us with lived experience can help them.

If ever there were a time for us to confidently raise our hands, this is it. This is no time for fear, shame or embarrassment. From board members and bosses to sales execs and brickies, this is the time to say, “I know how this feels, and I am here to help”.

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