Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and suitI believe it was appropriate that we had PDG Jerry Pilcher tell us about Australian Rotary Health (ARH) and their focus on funding mental health research as we presented a cheque of $5,500 to Bluebird last Friday. Bluebird is a grassroots organisation that is working in the area of early intervention, suicide prevention and recovery support specifically for adults over 25. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for all Australians between 15 and 44 years of age. Bluebird’s program of psychologist facilitated support groups, well-being events and networking activities builds the confidence and skills for individuals to manage their own anxiety and depression, reaching people in need before they become a sad statistic.
Over the past two decades, I’ve had several first-hand recounts from people who have lived with anxiety or depression.  It took a long time for someone stubborn like me to understand, but it is now clear that my old thinking of giving people a kick in the bum to get them back to “real” life is often mostly inappropriate. Do you still only think that way?
There’s just so much that we do not understand when it comes to mental health. It would be fruitless for us to work in the areas of homelessness and domestic violence in isolation without considering the impact of mental health. So it is great to know that ARH is helping us to address that.
Since its formation, ARH has funded $33,000,000 into research in health and wellness. This is a collective effort of all Rotarians in Australia, of which we are a part. It’s often difficult for us to see the bigger picture from our little corner in Perth. Having someone like PDG Jerry provide a glimpse into the greater whole helps me understand how each one of us in our small corner can Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas and Take Action!
In doing my little bit to join leaders and exchange ideas, I shall be attending the UNAAWA’s forum this week on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”.  Go ahead... do your bit in your small corner too.
Yours in Rotary 
Wesley Sim - President - Rotary of Perth 2018/2019