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“I wish I had known that before”

Probably the most common statement we hear at OSI.

It’s also very true of myself, no one really teaches you about mental health and very often once you do finally understand what it is, it’s because you have been through your own negative experience.

That’s why education is such a key foundation to a sustainable mental health solution.

At OSI we believe education should start at the earliest age, if I knew growing up what mental health was I would have been far more capable of recognising it and supporting those suffering. A little kinder and more understanding

It’s for that reason that I started communicating with my daughter Emerie about mental health through her toys.

Emerie's mum is born south of the border and very often takes Emerie away to visit family, so I would take her toys out with me and record the adventures.

I found her dragon Roar in the woods one day, he had become overwhelmed with loneliness at her being away on her trip. Using Roar and the video I was able to share the impacts of loneliness on mental health, in a way that was relatable and engaging.

I was able to express how I feel when they are away, and how Emerie might feel when she is away. That it is a normal experience and nothing to be ashamed of her fear talking about.

In fact it’s very common to feel a sense of loneliness

One in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. The longer we feel lonely, the more we are at risk of mental health problems. Some people are also at higher risk of feeling lonely than others, those that experience a sense of abandonment or depression.

Feeling lonely isn't in itself a mental health problem, but the two are strongly linked. Having a mental health problem can increase your chance of feeling lonely

Loneliness is a painful universal phenomenon that has an evolutionary basis. Loneliness reminds us of the pain and warns us of the threat of becoming isolated. Loneliness is the absence of imperative social relations and lack of affection in current social relationships

Loneliness is caused not by being alone, but by being without some definite needed relationship or set of relationships.

Learning to identify the emotions of loneliness can enable us to build the coping mechanisms to prevent mental health illness

So let the dragon Roar and talk about mental health loudly!

Talk to OSI and let us help educate your workplace