As we head into Mental Health Awareness Week, I have been tactfully introducing the subject wherever I’ve been going lately. Since I’ve recently relocated 4,000km back from Perth in Western Australia to Melbourne in Victoria, I am gainfully unemployed at the moment. So today I attended a seminar of Market Analytics, which is quite an exciting topic for an IT professional!!
Of course, the organisation’s Account Manager was all over me, as a new face, thinking I would have a “burning platform” that required me to spend oodles of money on consultants and software technology to revolutionise my business. Can you imagine his disappointment when I explained my situation and then told him I was taking advantage of the “downtime” to write and promote my books… 🙂
Anyway, after explaining the plot and seeing his eyes glaze over, I asked him if he knew anyone with a mental illness, and reported that there are upwards of 350 million people in the world at any one time who are suffering from one or more. Sadly, his response spoke volumes of the lack of awareness among people who are fortunate not to be afflicted. Although they are both truly challenging disabilities and absolutely worthy of our attention too, this guy’s top 2 “mental illnesses” were Autism and Dementia.
Quite clearly, we still have a long way to go! Best wishes to all sufferers of mental health issues for next Thursday’s annual day of recognition. Let’s spread the word!