Liptember: Supporting women’s mental health

The national lipstick campaign has helped fund a mental health program that’s been rolled out in schools across Australia.

Since 2010, Liptember has encouraged women to wear bright, colourful lippies as a fun way to raise awareness for a serious cause; women’s mental health.

Last year, the national campaign raised more than $1.2 million which was donated to women’s mental health research and support programs, including The Centre for Women’s Mental Health, Lifeline Australia, The Jean Hailes Foundation, RUOK?, The Pretty Foundation and Batyr.

Youth mental health organisation Batyr first partnered with Liptember in 2016 and the funds they received last year from the campaign directly funded the rollout of the [email protected] program.

The education program tours schools across the country, encouraging young people to voice their mental health concerns in a safe, trained environment.

“Mental health is such an important subject,” Batyr NSW facilitator co-ordinator Stephanie Edmonds says.

“Our organisation trains young people to speak about their personal experience in a way that can start a conversation in their community.”

The program provides preventative education for the next generation of Australians and has already reached more than 120,000 youths.

Batyr speakers encourage audiences to take charge of their mental health in addition to facilitating training workshops.

It’s incredibly uplifting to know people are actively working to smash the stigma surrounding mental health, which often prevents people from seeking help in the first place.

First hand experience with mental health concerns

Victoria’s Cara Morris, 22, got involved with Batyr in 2017 after learning of their cause and participating in one of their Being Heard workshops.

“The workshop was fantastic and I knew I wanted to do more with them,” she says. “So when I was asked to become a speaker I didn’t even have to think about it.

Cara’s experience with depression began in her childhood and her symptoms worsened when she reached her teen years.

“I began to experience symptoms of depression during late primary school, but thought that I was too young to be taken seriously,” she says.

“At 16 it got so debilitating that some mornings I couldn’t get out of bed. That’s when I knew I needed to do something about it.”

After reaching out to her mum, who made her an appointment with a psychologist, Cara’s mental health began to improve.

“The first psychologist I saw was a great fit for me and to my relief I didn’t feel judged,” Cara says.

“Seeking help was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done and I’m so much better off for it.”

Cara describes sharing her own personal journey with students as a “really validating experience”.

“It’s incredibly uplifting to know people are actively working to smash the stigma surrounding mental health, which often prevents people from seeking help in the first place,” she says.

“I think education goes a long way. If Batyr were around when I was in high school, I may not have waited so long before seeking help.”

Watch Jo Stanley as she meets four inspiring women who are on a mission to raise awareness of women’s mental health challenges on House of Wellness TV.

The lowdown on Liptember

Liptember aims to raise funds to provide programs and prevention strategies to help the mental health needs of women.

  • 1 in 5 women suffer from depression
  • 1 in 3 women suffer from anxiety
  • 15 per cent of women experience postnatal depression within a year after giving birth
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for women in Australia between 18-34 years
  • Women are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than men, yet there is currently limited reach based on women

How to get involved with Liptember

  1. Purchase a Liptember lipstick from any participating Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist or My Beauty Spot store.
  2. Register online at liptember.com.au
  3. Rock your colourful lipstick of choice throughout the month of September.

liptember bag

Purchase this year’s Liptember Bag online here.

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