Pledges for better mental health

Published on Defence (author), POIS Phil Cullinan (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Topic(s): Navy Headquarters

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, was among many Defence personnel to mark Defence Mental Health Month by leading by example and making a public personal mental health promise. (photo: POIS Phil Cullinan)
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, was among many Defence personnel to mark Defence Mental Health Month by leading by example and making a public personal mental health promise.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, was among many Defence personnel to mark Defence Mental Health Month by leading by example and making a public personal mental health promise.

Vice Admiral Barrett posted his pledge to improve his own mental health and that of others, to a purpose built Defence Mental Health Promise Wall established at Russell Offices in Canberra. His promise joined others posted by senior Defence leaders and staff, helping draw attention to positive mental health messaging and techniques.

His promise was to kick start a healthy lifestyle and help those around him have the confidence to make changes to their life.

"It is vital that we all take personal action to know the triggers that affect our own wellbeing," Vice Admiral Barrett said.

"Being aware of your own state of mental health will help you support others when they need it, it’s vital that we are able to talk about our fitness across all aspects of our mental and physical health."

Vice Admiral Barrett formalised his promise following a gathering on 16 October in Canberra for Defence Mental Health Month, coordinated by Joint Health Command.

Vice Admiral Barrett, echoed other Defence Senior Leaders, in saying that Defence Mental Health Month emphasised a strong commitment to good mental health and access to a broad range of support services for uniformed and non-uniformed personnel.

"This year the focus is to 'Take Action'," said Vice Admiral Barrett.

 "Our primary aim is to encourage help seeking behaviour, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and foster connectivity throughout communities," he said.