We Need Your Help!!

We Need Your Help!!

Man Anchor is participating in the 2020 Lifeline Classic supporting the fantastic work that Lifelife does supporting our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The event is a surfing tag team event built on raising awareness around mental health and fundraising.
Team Man Anchor is building with the inclusion of former World Champ @damienhardman and Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden. Lifeline receives over 3,000 calls a day, A CALL EVERY 30 SECONDS. It costs Lifeline Northern Beaches $27.96 for every call to which they respond. Lifeline Northern Beaches responds to over 74,000 of these crisis calls each year.

We have some awesome prizes to support our fundraising efforts –
• A choice of either a replica MR fish or a custom made surfboard from Yugen Surfboards
• Breakfast with the founder of Gotcha4Life Gus Worland at Stay Grounded, Collaroy
• A personal water photographer session with the super talented Grant Morris

For every $20 donated you will receive one entry and with every $50 three entries into the draw.
We would appreciate any donation no matter how big or small.
Link below:

Thanks for your help!

Man Anchor Goes to School

Man Anchor Goes to School

Last week Man Anchor had the privilege of working with the year 11 students transitioning to year 12 at Knox Grammar School. Over two days we unpacked Mental Health with the 360 students.
Together we discussed what positive and negative mental health looks like, we also discussed the perceived stigmas and barriers surrounding mental health by stripping mental health back to Health is Health. As a group we also worked on tools to support someone who may reach out to get support and how best to give support.

Thank you to the wonderful team and students at @knoxgrammar for making us feel so welcome. A special thank you @bthiggsrfa for his fantastic Co facilitation.
Man Anchor would love to connect with more schools, youth organisations and sporting clubs to support the health and wellbeing of its students and members so please reach out for more information.

@man_anchor_ @gotcha4life @lifelinenb @gusworland @surfing_nsw @vansaustralia @headabovewater1 @headspace_aus @risefoundationaust @oxfordshop @bronnie.taylor

Seeking Support

Seeking Support

As we continue to navigate the ever-changing world of COVID and while the uncertainty around the economic fallout grows, it’s understandable that many Australians are living with heightened levels of stress, distress and anxiety which ultimately have a negative effect on their mental health.

Throughout history we have seen with economic fallout comes a decline in the mental wellbeing of the community and unfortunately the increase in suicide rates and this can be mapped over economic down turns from the great depression of the late 1920’s to the GFC. A strong indicator of the pressure that the wider community is under is the increase of call rates to crisis support hot lines with Lifeline reporting 15% -20% which had already seen an increase at the beginning of the year with the bush fire crisis on the east coast.

When we consider mental health there is one little known statistic which stands out, only 35% of people living with a mental illness seek clinical support in a 12-month period. This was a disturbing statistic in pre COVID times and even more so now with increased pressure on individual’s wellbeing.

At this point it important to remember that a mental illness is no different to any other physical illness. There are three key stages – prevention, early intervention and treatment and just like a developing physical illness, early intervention is key to preventing someone becoming acutely unwell and supporting a more successful rate of recovery.

There are several factors that present as barriers to individuals seeking support such as cultural, financial, social, geographical, education, fear and previous experiences.

More often than not, it can be a combination of a few factors that prevents an individual seeking support and I see many different combinations. The most common I find are based around education of pathways of referral and the perceived stigma and fear surrounding the experiences of seeking support. I thought we could keep it simple and unpack these.

Pathways and Referral

Pathways and referral process to seeking support for your mental health can start at your local GP. When you meet for your consult with your GP explain how you are feeling the GP will ask you a few simple questions. With these simple questions the GP will make an assessment and set what is called a Mental Health Plan, the GP then will refer you to a health professional either a Social Worker, Mental Health Nurse, Occupational therapist, Counsellor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist.

 With your mental health plan you will have the opportunity to attend 6 to 10 consults with the referred professional and another 10 if the professional believes you require more treatment. One of the silver linings of COVID is that the federal government has made some of these consults available on the Medicare rebate scheme as well as bulked build. This availability via Medicare has removed much of the financial barriers to seeking support.

It’s important to note that the consult with all these professionals are confidential and they are bound by ethical agreements not to share or divulge what is spoken about in sessions unless they believe you are a danger to yourself or another individual or you may be about to commit a crime.

Experiences and Stigma

I am in a privileged position with the work I do that many people freely open up about their mental health and the perceived stigma related to seeing a mental health professional.

I am in a privileged position with the work I do that many people freely open up about their mental health and the perceived stigma related to seeing a mental health professional.
When encouraging an individual to seek support I like to bring it back to basics, back to health not mental health, just health. I predict that at least 80% of all Australians aged between 16 – 86 have seen a health specialist in their lifetime, anything from a dentist to a physiotherapist or a cardiologist for either prevention, early intervention, or treatment. Each of these professionals is there to assess, diagnose and set a wellness plan. This is no different to a mental heath professional, they assess with a series of questions just like a physiotherapist would about a hamstring injury, “How long have you felt like this?” “When did you first notice this?” “When is it most noticeable?” “What makes you feel well?” and just like a physio together you work on plan and series of actions and strategies to support the individual becoming well.

This simple step can remove so much of the fear related to seeking support and in some cases assist in an individual taking the vital step for support.

It’s more important than ever to keep your mental health a priority and stay connected with friend’s family and work colleagues. We need to have open and positive conversations around mental health at home and in the workplace.

If you do notice changes in your thinking, feelings, behaviours and physical wellbeing which last more than a two-week period please reach out for support from a health professional.

If you are experiencing a crisis and need immediate help please contact one of the services listed on our Crisis Support Page CLICK HERE

Health is Health

Health is Health

As a community we look to farewell what has been a year that we will never forget, and as we try to reflect on the positives and negatives of the pandemic it’s easy for us to head straight to the financial and social impact. For some in the community the pandemic perfectly suited their lifestyle and personality types but unfortunately for others the weight of both the economic fallout and all that comes with it or the social isolation has left negative effects on their mental wellbeing.

I find myself in a privileged position where people freely open up to me about their lived experiences or challenges during COVID, some freely open up about the effects to their mental wellbeing while others brush around it and finish with a comment like “well others have it worse off than me”. It’s important that as a community and as individuals we understand and acknowledge that life affects us all differently and we all have the right to be healthy.

Unfortunately, when we talk about health and the right to be healthy we put our mental health on another spectrum to our physical health, and what this can do is blur the lines of realty that HEALTH IS HEALTH which creates unhealthy stigmas and barriers. If we had an individual that had back pain would they say, “well others have it worse off than me” and not address the pain by seeing a health professional? The answer would be NO.

The key to individuals and the wider community becoming more engaged with the importance of seeking clinical support is as simple as think of the health spectrum. We all have health both physical and mental, which lives upon the health spectrum, on one side we have positive heath and the other side we have negative health or illness. Just like physical health during life we float up and down this spectrum with our mental health. For many of us we address a physical health with early intervention if we feel we are becoming unwell but unfortunately, we do not do the same for our mental health. 

The question is, if both our mental and physical health sit upon the same spectrum why does one get acknowledged and addressed and the other does not? If Health Is Health, there should be no differences and no stigma related to addressing any health concern. It’s also important to acknowledge that early intervention can drastically improve and speed up ones recovery time like a physical illness.

If you believe you are floating towards the negative side of the spectrum and have noted changes in your thinking, feelings, behaviours or physical wellbeing it could be a strong indicator that you need the support of a health professional remembering HEALTH IS HEALTH.

If you are experiencing a crisis and need immediate help please contact one of the services listed on our Crisis Support Page CLICK HERE

New Blended Online Course

New Blended Online Course

October is Mental Health Month and what better way to recognise it than becoming a Mental Health First Aider.

Mental Health First Aid gives the participants the tools to identify and then support a friend or family member if becoming unwell or in crisis.

The program is run online with 5-6 hours self paced online education and 2 x 2.5 hours virtual workshop with the Man Anchor team on the 20th & 27th of October from 6:30pm. On successful completion you will receive a 3 year qualification in Mental Health First Aid.

For more information or to register email steven@mananchor.com.au or feel free message Man Anchor.

Waves of Wellness

Waves of Wellness

This October Man Anchor and I will be partnering and supporting the unbelievable work that Waves of Wellness Foundation does within coastal communities supporting positive mental health with surf therapy. During the month of October I will be aiming to surf everyday no matter what the conditions or what I have on.
Now this may not seem like a challenge for many as it’s an everyday occurrence for a lot of surfers but unfortunately for me balancing family, a full time job and my work with Man Anchor can see my time in the water diminish very quickly, so as much as this is about supporting WOW and their important work, it is about supporting my personal heath and wellbeing with a little bit of self care.
If you would like to challenge yourself and join me in surfing throughout October please sign up or if you would like to donate it would be greatly appreciated.

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