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Defy the stigma

Defy the stigma

By Jack Heath

Health Wellbeing 

Talking to colleagues can inspire change in mental health. Over the past few years, an increasing number of public figures have talked about their own experiences with mental illness. The first time I met host of The Bachelor Osher Günsberg I was struck by his decency, warmth and humour. He was also very aware of SANE Australia’s work. I wondered whether he might have a family member or friend who had experienced complex mental illness. I wasn’t expecting him to be open about his own experience of psychosis, as well as other conditions that people rarely talk about. I was even more surprised when, a few months later, he was on stage addressing senior financial executives at a corporate office in Sydney. He spoke about his mental health journey to these senior business people who warmly embraced his honesty. He continues to speak publicly about mental health in his weekly podcasts, including in a recent podcast interview with Wilson Asset Management’s chair Geoff Wilson. Few people speak so openly about their experiences with complex mental illness. While we still have some way to go in reducing the stigma around depression and anxiety, we have miles further to travel when it comes to the more complex conditions, especially in the business community.

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