News • 24 Aug 2020

Putting the spotlight on Mental Health during an uncertain time

The ongoing pandemic crisis has put a spotlight on mental health, as many people, who may not have experienced mental health issues are now facing them head-on.

At last year’s Mental Health Achievement Awards, James Hill was the winner of Jeff Cheverton Individual Award.

Not too much has changed personally since winning the award, although I do feel very humbled to have the award, and to be acknowledged for the work I do, by such an esteemed panel at the highly regarded event” said James.

James alongside his role at Energy Queensland, has continued his advocacy work with Beyond Blue, and with many face-to-face sessions moving to online, it has enabled him to reach a wider audience. He has conducted some important online presentations to groups via Beyond Blue in Melbourne and throughout Australia, areas that he would not ordinarily be able to reach.

One of the biggest changes James has seen is that many people who haven’t experienced any mental health concerns are now facing them head-on, and is helping to ‘normalise’ the mental health experiences… and also bringing the levels of support out into the open.

Personally, James has had to face the battle of not being able to travel as much as he used to, and instead look to ways of providing support throughout his organisation virtually, whilst also taking stock of his own mental health.

As an avid Crossfit enthusiast, not being able to attend the gym was at first a struggle, but his community quickly pivoted and alongside the virtual workout sessions, the community started hosting ‘mental health Sunday’ sessions.

The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on the mental health of many Australians, but it has been great to see the use of technology open up the support, like the mental health sessions my Crossfit community have started, to highlight that we all need to be aware of our mental health and to check in with how we are feeling throughout this uncertain time” said James.

James has also been a guest on the popular “Talk with Trace” podcast series. In his latest episode with Trace, James chats about coping tips & tricks to keep from ‘going down rabbit holes’ and finding structure, hope and coping throughout this uncertain time of COVID-19.

Whilst the types of conversations James has been having with others hasn’t necessarily changed, he does note that the frequency of conversations he has been having has increased, and with people whom he may not have had the conversations with before.

His aim is to continue making a difference in his everyday conversations by promoting that there is support out there and making people aware of where to look.

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