Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Staying well / Share your “Naomi Osaka” moment

Topic: Share your “Naomi Osaka” moment

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1561 posts
    2 June 2021

    Greetings!

    I’m not much of a tennis fan but something remarkable happened in the sport this week. Superstar player, Naomi Osaka, decided to withdraw from the French Open rather than participate in mandatory post-match media conferences.

    This brave woman described her action as an expression of self-care, designed to protect her mental health. It’s been reported that she experiences both anxiety and depression.

    This could be a watershed moment for raising awareness of both the prevalence and impact of mental health conditions in sport. It could lead to real change. And it really raised my hopes for a better, kinder future.

    We may not all be superstars but many of us have drawn our own lines in the sand to protect ourselves, raise awareness and bring about positive change in the mental health space.

    For me, it was a push for change at my daughter’s school to ensure all students with mental health conditions had access to Individual Learning Plans. After years of discussion, I finally got the administrators’ attention with a discrimination complaint to bring about the change—and it worked.

    What change have you worked to bring about at home, work, school or local community setting? How did you do it? Why do you think it succeeded? Or, why do you think it faltered?

    Perhaps by sharing our stories, we can help each improve the experience of people with mental health conditions wherever they live, whatever the issue.

    Kind thoughts to all

    2 people found this helpful
  2. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3085 posts
    4 June 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose,

    Thank you for this post! To be frank I was pretty disappointed in the response to her speaking up about Press Conferences- I saw on The Project it was very much a 'suck it up, this is part of the job' mentality where as it could have been a great conversation on mental health in the workplace.

    I'm so glad though that you've been able to reframe this and talk about your experiences pushing for ILP's - school is such a big platform in being able to make or advocate for changes and I have no doubt that your advocacy will definitely pay off with students there.

    Mental health is my jam everywhere. I definitely notice that talking about the stigma with people does help sometimes- it's very misunderstood so making a difference day to day feels important to me. Although stigma with people is very very longwinded so that's a mission that will probably never end!

    I'm also helping out another place (under wraps at the moment) who are putting guidelines together for the media- so how can we help journalists better report on suicide? What needs to change? That's an interesting space too.

    Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is getting up to and their own Naomi moment.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1561 posts
    4 June 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi rt

    It would definitely have been better if Naomi’s withdrawal from the competition had received universal positive media coverage (from our perspective), but I did notice that the ABC and a few other outlets gave the story a good run.

    Hopefully her withdrawal gives pause to Tennis Australia and other sports administrators to offer more flexibility to athletes experiencing a MH condition. I can’t see any reason why a reasonable adjustment couldn’t have been provided to her. For example, I understand she’s comfortable talking to media one-on-one, she’s just not comfortable at a large media conference. Alas, I don’t get to make the rules.

    The work you’re doing on development of guidelines to assist media to talk in a more helpful way about suicide is really important and would be very challenging.

    What would you really like to achieve? What’s in the way?

    I’m right with you about talking to people about MH and working to reduce stigma at this level. How do others feel? Worth the effort? Getting results?

    Kind thoughts to you

    1 person found this helpful
  4. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    12429 posts
    4 June 2021 in reply to Summer Rose
    This may not be exactly on topic summer rose but as I have had a diagnosis for over 45 years I have noticed people speaking out. I was ashamed of my label now my lived experience is now respected and valued. I didnt make that happen but started speaking public about mental health about 15 years ago and feel that has helped people to talk more.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1561 posts
    5 June 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi quirkywords

    Fifteen years of MH advocacy is a fantastic achievement! Well done to you.

    I think it’s going to take an awful lot of us with lived experience doing our bit for MH to change the world. We may not get the headlines but it’s this quiet achievement that matters.

    Just imagine how many lives have been altered, how many minds opened through your courageous public speaking.

    I also speak publicly about my MH experience and know it’s not easy. But like you believe it’s an important effort.

    Kind thoughts to you

  6. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3085 posts
    8 June 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose,

    Yeah you have an excellent point. I'm not much of a Tennis fan but I can appreciate the impact that she's made- what it means to talk about mental health in the workforce. I can see the view of 'it's only 10 minutes', and I also see the view of how taxing 10 minutes can be. While it can't have been easy to do so, it's heartwarming to see when people do make this positive- like yourself!

    Great question with the media. Right now it's trying to think about what we need the media to 'do better' at when it comes to talking about suicide and reporting about suicide. Some of this is in the language- i.e. committed/successful vs died by suicide, and some of that is encouraging help seeking- like including the number for Lifeline. Super interested to hear your thoughts here, so long as it's not too off track from your post.

    I think it can be really hard to have this conversation with the general public; it's been surprising at times. I've had people share their own struggles for the first time because they felt like they had someone to talk to, and then a (somewhat-healthy) debate around being in the "looney bin" (hospital or psychiatric ward).

    What is it like for you, either in small settings or when speaking publically about your experiences?

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1561 posts
    8 June 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi rt

    I would love to chat about your media work and offer thought to support your moment of change. From your contributions here on the forum, I know that your views will make a difference.

    My media “do better” list in terms of suicide reporting would focus on reducing stigmatising language, like you mentioned. And I agree, reporting should also include information on where to seek help for others who may be considering suicide.

    I would also be focusing on the discouragement of explicitly descriptive reporting or mention of methods. In other words, you never want all the details, so as to ensure the piece doesn’t become a “how to” or somehow become glorified.

    Clear language is also important. So “died suddenly” becomes “died by suicide”.

    Avoiding sensationalism is critical. I believe some of the coverage of Robin Williams’ suicide was unhelpful because of a sensationalistic element.

    I’m aware of one American study following his death showing media coverage to have contributed to a contagion effect. The study claims a 10 per cent increase in suicides in the US in the months after Robyn died (authors: Fink DS, Santaella Tenorio J and Keyes KM). I don’t know if there was an impact in Australia.

    Thinking about the basics of journalism in relation to your work would help. There are so many questions for media to consider. For example, is the incident news worthy? Who should cover it, health or crime reporter or someone else? What is my role as a journalist, objective straight reporting or agent of social change? Is there a bigger story here? Are there broader issues to report on?

    Just my first thoughts. Hope it makes sense.

    Kind thoughts to you

  8. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1561 posts
    9 June 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hello all

    For anyone popping in now to see what this thread is about we are talking about positive change in the MH space.

    What change have you worked to bring about at home, work, school or local community setting? How did you do it?Why do you think it succeeded? Or, why do you think it faltered?

    The thread was sparked by Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open as a potential change moment.

    There is also a discussion occurring to support Romantic Thief’s “positive change” work to improve media reporting of suicide (see posts directly above).

    One area of work to bring about change that has been mentioned earlier is speaking publicly about our MH experiences.

    I personally find this both challenging and rewarding. I feel like I leave a piece of my soul with each audience. But it gives meaning to the worst experience of my life (child falling seriously ill with OCD). And when I know that I’ve reached someone in the audience, I know it’s so worthwhile.

    Once I spoke to a group of primary school teachers who were unsure of their MH role. The discussion that followed was amazing. They were putting together the symptoms of anxiety with specific past classroom events and brainstorming ideas to reduce potential student anxiety in future.

    For me it was important change in thinking to be a part of it. Anyone with a similar story to share?

    Kind thoughts to all

  9. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3085 posts
    14 June 2021 in reply to Summer Rose

    Hi Summer Rose,

    Thank you so much for all of your thoughts. I've jotted all of these down to share; all feedback is good feedback and I completely agree with you.

    I think a lot of the media outlets are very much a 'work in progress'. Some seem to do it well, with help-seeking information and good language, others not so much. Everything that you've mentioned is absolutely a 101.

    I appreciate you sharing about Robin Williams too; that's absolutely come to mind getting involved in this. Sadly the US doesn't seem as determined as us to look at their reporting in the same way- so while journalists may take great care in their reporting, it's so hard when other countries don't and we are absorbing all of that information as well. While not on a big scale, the same thing happened with Kate Spade (the fashion designer) in the contagion effect too.

    Such a great thought as well about the reporting; that's actually not something I've thought of before but you are absolutely right.

    Thank you!

    rt

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up