On the first day of NSW Mental Health Month, Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies is urging people to connect with others this October, to improve their mental health and build resilience. “Be brave, be bold, be honest, and share your mental health story with friends, family members and others close to you,” Mrs Davies said. “Nearly half of all Australians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime, and those who don’t will most likely know someone who does.” “By sharing your journey you pave the way for others to do the same, this breaks down stigma surrounding mental health.” Mrs Davies said this year’s theme, ‘Share the Journey’, focuses on the importance of social connections and good relationships to combat loneliness and build resilience in trying times. “I began Mental Health Month by participating in the Western Sydney Marathon Fun Run for Team Black Dog, and I encourage everyone across the state to get involved in local events in your communities too.” In the 2017/18 Budget the NSW Government is investing a record $1.9 billion in mental health care, an increase of $87 million from last year. “Mental health care in NSW is in the midst of a decade-long whole-of-government reform, which aims to shift the focus of mental health care from hospitals to the community,” Mrs Davies said. “We are committed to delivering person-centred care and support for people in NSW living with mental illness, their families and carers.” For a full list of public events across NSW throughout October, including World Mental Health Day (October 10), go to: www.mentalhealthmonth.wayahead.org.au . If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For mental health services please contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.