This month we got to know Matt Runnalls, CEO & Founder of Mindfull Aus. a not-for-profit organisation which creates awareness, acceptance and education for mental health.
Matt’s lived experience began in his adolescent years, losing his friend and most influential school teacher by the age of just 16. Tragically, he then lost another 8 friends to suicide over the coming years. Fearing he was going to become the next statistic, Matt started to question his own belief system and decided to turn things around, for himself, and those around him.
The message from Matt is loud and clear - the more we talk about mental health and suicide, the more we break down any surrounding stigma, and the greater chance we have of prevention.
Matt is a firm believer that human beings are “wired for human connection”. Now, more than ever, we can see the effects on mental health from a lack of organic human interaction. Thoughts of hopelessness and a sense of ongoing uncertainty can lead to all sorts of mental health issues including stress, anxiety, depression, and frustration.
Matt has some key strategies we can all begin to implement today to maintain and improve our mental health:
● Give ourselves permission to be gentle. Be mindful of the impact that our current situation has on our general ability to cope with both usual and unusual circumstances. Acknowledging that some people will be feeling incredibly vulnerable, sensitive, and generally on edge. Giving ourselves permission to be not only gentle on ourselves, but on our friends, colleagues, employees, and family members, and particularly our children, is important.
● Validate our feelings of frustration/sadness/anger. This one is especially relevant to children going through a difficult time. Acknowledging and validating children’s emotions and letting them know it is okay to share their own feelings is crucial to building healthy minds and interpersonal skills for adulthood.
● Create a routine to give your day structure. Routines reduce anxiety by providing a predictable and well thought out plan for each day, which helps keep us focused and calm.
● Be kind to others; It is so important that we strengthen our sense of community by connecting with and supporting each other. Reminding ourselves that we are stronger as many, than as one and that we can manage challenges better together. Checking in with a friend or family member could be the one thing that saves their life.
● Stay physically active Utilising fresh air, vitamin D, and getting moving has enormously positive effects on our mental health.
Mindfull Aus continues to strive to support all high risk suicide areas including blue collar industries and sporting clubs, regional and remote communities, and with children and youth. Matt’s amazing work continues to reduce stigma, provide access to resources, and deliver a proactive early intervention approach, where possible, to mental health.
Get in touch with Mindfull Aus
Matt Runnalls - CEO & Founder - email@example.com
Ashleigh Siggs - Bookings & Enquiries - firstname.lastname@example.org