Movember & Mental Health - An Interview With The CEO
Mental health is something that Above The Collar (& parent company Oz Hair & Beauty) has, and will continue to proudly campaign for. As the CEO, I made a promise to myself to start making it a goal to raise awareness for mental health in Australia.
As a company, we've made a donation of $5,000 to the Movember foundation as well as committing $1 from every order in November, alongside donating $5 on behalf of our audience who get involved in sharing their mo (and awareness) across there social platforms.
So, why is this topic so close to home?
In the past, I have suffered severe anxiety, enough to the point that I had to put the brakes on life for a couple of weeks and move back in with my parents, as I could not handle being alone. While I do still occasionally suffer anxiety, I'm now a lot better equipped to handle it than I was.
What did you realize about going through this experience?
Naturally, I think there were many realizations I had with going through this. But there are two main ones that I think are really important to share.
The first one is, I realized the reason why I was able to recover and deal with it, was because I had such a great support network, with a lot of family and friends to talk to and help me through it. While this may sound somewhat unoriginal, I can't stress enough how true this is. It's extremely sad to know that there are people who are uncomfortable talking about how they are feeling. If this was the case for me, my recovery would have been a lot harder to manage.
The other important realization I had was that there are people out there who are suffering from a lot worse. I can't even begin to explain how dull my experience felt, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. So when the thought emerged that there are people out there, who are suffering from a lot worse and who don't have that support network that I had, that really broke my heart. I'd encourage anyone who doesn't have a support network or who isn't comfortable talking to their support network, then please reach out to some of these organizations. The power of a conversation is huge and can change a life, as I can tell you, it definitely did for me.
What would you want someone to know who hasn't experienced any major mental health battles?
I definitely would want people to understand that the feeling is normal. I think the biggest obstacle about my experience was that I thought I was alone in it, I thought I was going crazy. The reality was however, i wasn't alone, i wasn't going crazy, millions of people have gone through and will go through the same thing i went through. And better yet it wasn't until i had a conversation with my aunty, who had told me that she went through the same thing, that i had that realization.
That's why talking to people is vital and I can't express that enough. I can't tell you how much of a difference that conversation made to my recovery. That one conversation, that I could have easily avoided was a major weight off my shoulders and was the turning point in acknowledging that what I was going through was normal and it allowed me to see a clearer path out of it.
so please if you're reading this and you have mental health problems, or maybe you don't, but one day you might, just know we're all in this together, so never be afraid to talk about it.
What did you do more of in this time to try and get out of that state?
Like I said, Family. I'm very lucky to have such a supporting family, so enjoying their company and leaning on them when I needed it, really put me in the best position to get back to normality. A few conversations led to a few realizations and that ultimately aided me in the right direction.
Anything else you want to add?
If you're reading this and you yourself feel like you're struggling with mental health and feel like you have no one to talk to, there is plenty of help out there. You can start by checking out R U OK? at www.ruok.org.au. Their mission is to inspire and empower people to meaningfully connect with those in their world and lend support when they are struggling with life. Please refer to www.ruok.org.au/findhelp for information on services and support.
I feel that if we are able to encourage even just one conversation, or one person to take action and get help, then we are heading in the right direction.