Mental Health Week is 4-10 October and #MentalAs is ABC’s (@ABCaustralia) initiative to raise awareness, challenge taboos, and share stories about mental health and illness. Across the week, they’ll roll out a huge variety of special broadcasts, documentaries, live events, and ways to get engaged on Twitter.
One of the week’s highlights is set to be #TheGracelandHappinessProject. You can follow odd couple, best friends, and ex-Big Brother contestants Tim Dormer (@timdormer) and Ben Zabel on their search for happiness at Graceland, the home of Ben’s childhood idol, Elvis Presley.
Talking about his role as an ambassador for #MentalAs, Tim Dormer said, “I think any opportunity to share our stories about mental health in order to raise awareness and change taboos is a fantastic. It’s staggering that almost half of us will be afflicted by a mental disorder at some point, and yet we find it so hard to talk about! #MentalAs is about dismantling stigmas, tackling fears and prejudices, reducing confusion and lack of understanding about mental illness.
Ben has lived with anxiety and depression for a large part of his life. When we became friends, I was shocked to find out the daily struggle he faced, which sadly led him to make an attempt at ending at his own life. I wanted to do something, and one of Ben’s many quirky interests is Elvis Presley!
I decided to take him on an adventure, away from his apartment in Brisbane to visit Graceland — the home of the King! #TheGracelandHappinessProject is the story of our friendship and realising that there are no easy answers when it comes to mental illness, but that having someone to talk to about it all can make a big difference.”
To take part in #MentalAs, talk to those around you, donate to ongoing mental health research, or get involved with programs exploring mental health featured across @ABCAustralia this Mental Health week. Head to abc.net.au/mentalas for more information on programming, donations, and support.
Rounding off the week tonight will be “Saturday Night Crack Up,” a live variety show hosted by @EddiePerfect with a stellar cast of performers who will be using @periscopeco for a behind-the-scenes look at the antics backstage.
Did someone say … cookies?