Singleton Council is joining forces with the community to end the stigma around mental health by supporting the World Federation for Mental Health's campaign for people to make a promise to take action.
In partnership with Upper Hunter Mental Health Interagency, people can visit the Make Mental Health more visible stand in Singleton Square on World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October to make a written pledge on a postcard or online to help shine a more positive light on mental health and encourage more people to seek help.
Data shows that while one in five Australians are affected by mental illness, many don't seek help because of the stigma.
Sharon Hutch, Council's Director Organisation and Community Capacity said this was an opportunity for Singleton to play an active role in a global issue with local impacts.
"Council has taken a very proactive stance on changing perceptions around mental health in our organisation, and encouraging staff to ask for help if they are experiencing mental health issues," she said.
"World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to broaden that commitment to support our local and the global community when it comes to looking after our mental health.
"We know people avoid asking for help because of the stigma around mental illness, and of course the impacts of their condition continue to worsen because they feel they can't turn to anyone.
"This initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health, and the partnership between Council and Upper Hunter Mental Health Interagency is a simple way people can promise to get involved to support anyone experiencing mental health issues."
Ms Hutch said the stand would be at Singleton Square between 9am and 5pm on Thursday 10 October.
"We're encouraging as many people as possible to join us to make a promise to end the stigma around mental health," she said.
"We'll have iPads and postcards that you can use to make your promise. You can select a promise from the list, or write your own promise - it's up to you.
"The most important thing is that we all come together to take a small action to make looking after our mental health no big deal, so that people feel comfortable and supported to ask for help."
For more information about World Mental Health Day, visit https://1010.org.au/about/