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President Thaya's Message

6 October 2021


My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,

Rotary worldwide has a remarkable record when it comes to health initiatives. We've helped bring polio to the brink of eradication, and our clubs have carried out myriad projects focused on preventing disease and supporting maternal and child health. Now the global pandemic has brought attention to another aspect of health that is often overlooked: mental health. In many places, depression, anxiety, and suicide are seen as a social stigma and not spoken about. But Rotary members are recognizing the gaps in understanding and gathering resources as a step to help.

The Rotary Club of Strathfield is embarking on a social media campaign to bridge the communication gap between people and mental health service providers. Rotarians are people of action but not mental health professionals. But there's always something we can do to help. Our main objective is to encourage local communities and services to build resilience to those affected by the impacts of COVID-19.

We have come up with a social media campaign called "MIND YOUR HEALTH," which encourages people affected by depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues to reach out for professional help. We identified the main problem as the most of people with mental health issues delay in recognising the need to speak and ask for assistance. With our program, hopefully, we can help break down some of the stigmas.

Our program is an intensive social media campaign for the prevention of Covid-19-related mental illness, especially for the younger generation. Australia has been hard-hit with the Covid19 pandemic since March 2020. The country has seen a new wave of the virus in the Delta variant which has spread over half of the nation, in particular NSW & VIC.

Our Rotary Club would like to be an advocate and create awareness of such mental illness and how they can seek help.

The main activities, in summary,

  •  Create a landing web page, Rotary's Covid-19 Mental Illness Campaign, "MIND YOUR HEALTH" with Covid-19 mental illness awareness and where to seek help.

  • Share the landing page with our District and other Rotary clubs in District 9675 in NSW.

  • Promote these landing pages extensively using Search Engine Optimisation and Google ad words.

It will be a very extensive campaign undertaken within a short term, but if just one person who has suicidal thoughts or is suffering from depression or anxiety sees one of these pages and images and decides to seek help or at least talk to someone, that will be a success.

As Rotarians, we know we are not experts in this field, but we can help maintain awareness of this subject and guide them in the right direction to seek help.

Emphasizing the importance of mental health, the Rotary International has declared October as Mental Illness Month. We, Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Strathfield, are launching this campaign this month partnering with a few leading Mental Health Service Providers. We are happy to announce our Rotary District is partnering with us and Multicultural NSW is providing the financial assistance needed. This project is led by our Community Service Director and Assistant Governor PP Rick Vosila.

"Asking for help is the first step…you are more precious to this world than you will ever know"


 Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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Last Update Tuesday October 05, 2021