In Australia, it’s estimated that 45% of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
Starting the conversation could save a life
The three of us are best mates who have shared the loudest of laughs and have lent each other a shoulder through the hardest of times. And like a lot of us, we too have experienced the pain of losing a best mate to suicide, a family member to a workplace accident, and enduring the separation of our parents. But with each others support, we have been able to stand tall through these hard times.
The idea of creating Speak & Share bobbled around in our heads for months in 2021. We said to ourselves becoming a teacher will be great, but asked ourselves; “what more could we do?”. At this time, we knew people were struggling, the impact of lockdowns were entrenching isolation, and for us it had led to some significant changes in our lives. The three of us knew that we wanted to positively influence our community, and here we are today, motivated to encourage vulnerability and build upon a positive community culture.
We know that we aren’t mental health professionals, and we respect that, but what we do know is that we are willing to make ourselves vulnerable to lead the charge for others to follow. We have a story to share and acknowledge that ours is no more important than yours, which is why we encourage you to share yours.
Being three qualified teachers who also have years of experience working as Integrations Aides, we have seen the impact that these lockdowns have had on today’s youth. Our friendship blossomed when we noticed that we each have a shared passion to help others. This passion has now brought us here, where we aspire to de-sensitise the mental health stigma, and to normalise starting the conversation with a mate.
Speak & Share’s mission is to influence community culture and educate on mental health strategies.
Speak & Share’s vision is to improve mental health by encouraging vulnerability and influencing a positive community culture.
Why we chose a sunflower
The sunflower is a symbol of long life because there are several varieties of this flower that can endure some of the warmest days of summer by standing tall. This flower can be considered as a symbol of endurance and strength to preserve through some of life’s hardest moments.
Starting the conversation
When growing a sunflower, the first step is to plant the seed. For Speak & Share, planting the seed represents starting the conversation. It can often be the hardest part to begin, but it will pay dividends and prove the most rewarding.
Checking in with a mate
When growing a sunflower, it is crucial to provide regular water so that it can grow and thrive. For Speak & Share, watering the plant represents checking in with a mate. It can require persistence, but it’s necessary for a connected and strong community.
Nurture your growth
When growing a sunflower, the most beautiful part is watching it turn towards the sun. For Speak & Share, bloom represents nurturing your own growth, and spreading the message. By doing so, both you and your community will flourish.