As I reflect on the theme of Mental Health Week this year, ‘Take time for your mental health’, I am reminded of a concept first made popular by former U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, where he said: "I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent."
Although it’s not always the case, I find this insight often rings true. It helps me to understand why so many of us fail to focus on our mental health. Despite its importance, it’s rarely urgent. Despite the many benefits we gain from making it a priority, it’s easy to ignore.
Good mental health not only builds resilience and helps us cope with stress, but it can also improve our productivity and creativity. It helps us realise our potential and expands what we can give back to our world. I find it very motivating when I reflect and appreciate how these benefits can have the flow-on effect of living a life full of vitality and meaning. A little remembering can give us the motivation to place mental health back on our list of priorities and the will to overcome those tricky obstacles such as business, distraction and inertia.
Queensland Mental Health Week is all about taking time out for mental health and focuses on six steps that can help. Students and staff have reflected on these this week, committing to at least one small step that they have shared with an accountability buddy. They will check in with their buddy again in a month. My hope is that wherever we are at an individual level, we have had the opportunity this week to support each other in a little remembering and have helped each other move towards better mental health.
Mrs Colleen Otto
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