Lord Mayor Clover Moore Mental Health Month Interview

Lord Mayor Clover Moore Mental Health Month Interview

Sydneysiders are being invited to share their experiences of what leads to the root of happiness as part of Mental Health Month.

The City of Sydney will next month ask passers-by at Belmore Park in central Sydney to reveal their ideas and tips on how to attain peace of mind and add them to a 'Root of Happiness Tree'.

From 11.30am-2.30pm on Tuesday 2nd of October, visitors to the park opposite Central Station were encouraged to jot down their ideas on ways to keep mental health in check on a round piece of card, with a smiley face on the reverse side, and hang it from a large oak tree to be displayed over two weeks.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said mental health was just as crucial as physical wellbeing and it was important to know how to boost your mood when feeling down.

"When we feel physically unwell we know to rest up, take some vitamins and seek help from a doctor, but often we are not as committed to looking after our mental health," the Lord Mayor said.

"Mental health fluctuates on a minute-to-minute basis so if we can identify when our mental health is not as good as it could be, we should have a ready 'tool-kit' of practical solutions to help us feel better.
"It's also important to know where to seek help when we require a greater level of support."

The theme for Mental Health Month, 'Celebrate, Connect, Grow', aims to encourage people to take time out to look at whether they are feeling positive about themselves and their lives, and if they are enjoying good relationships and engaging in meaningful activities.

About 800,000 Australians experience depression each year, and one in five people is likely to experience depression or anxiety during their lifetime (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Mental health problems affect 14 per cent of children and adolescents in Australia and young adults, aged 18-24, have the highest prevalence of mental disorders of any age group (source: Black Dog Institute).

Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Association of NSW, a community-based organisation and charity that has worked since 1932 to address stigma and to promote mental health and wellbeing.
For more information visit www.mentalhealth.asn.au

Interview with Lord Mayor Clover Moore

Question: What inspired the 'Root of Happiness Tree'?

Lord Mayor Clover Moore: Good mental health is crucial but often we are not as committed to looking after our mental health as our physical health. Our moods and mental health fluctuate, so it's important to be able to identify when our mental health is not as good as it could be. We know that there are often practical solutions to help us feel better.

The Root of Happiness Tree was designed to encourage people to reflect on what makes them happy, so that when they're feeling down they know what to do to boost their mood.


Question: What ideas and tips did Sydneysiders add to the Root of Happiness Tree?

Lord Mayor Clover Moore: Dozens of people contributed a vast range of ideas to the Root of Happiness Tree.

Many of these tips for mental wellbeing related to enjoying good relationships with family and friends. Playing sport or being active, listening to music and enjoying food were also seen by many people as a way to boost their mood.


Question: Will you be implementing or advertising any of these ideas after they have been displayed for two weeks?

Lord Mayor Clover Moore: The City of Sydney is looking at ways the idea and tips can be used in the future and this could be online or as an exhibition in one of our community centres.


Question: Why is mental health, so important to you and your city?

Lord Mayor Clover Moore: About 800,000 Australians experience depression each year, and one person in five is likely to experience depression or anxiety during their lifetime. Mental health problems affect 14 per cent of children and adolescents in Australia and young adults, aged 18-24, have the highest prevalence of mental disorders of any age group.

This has been an issue for hundreds of thousands of Australians and many people in our community. I'm glad that good mental health is now something that we talk about as a community.


Question: What is the aim for Mental Health Month, 'Celebrate, Connect, Grow'?

Lord Mayor Clover Moore: The theme 'Celebrate, Connect, Grow', aims to encourage people to take time to look at whether they are feeling positive about themselves. Mental Health Month is an initiative of the Mental Health Association of NSW, a community-based organisation and charity that has worked since 1932 to address stigma and to promote mental health and wellbeing. People who'd like more information should visit www.mentalhealth.asn.au


Question: Are you working with any other organisations to promote Mental Health Month?

Lord Mayor Clover Moore: Youthblock health resource centre partnered with us to promote this Root of Happiness Tree initiative.


Interview by Brooke Hunter


MORE