Mental Health Awareness
ORANGE SKY LAUNDRY
– Most Saturday nights sees me out on the street with the St Albans Team for Orange Sky Laundry.
As way of explanation Orange Sky Laundry is a not for profit organization that provides a mobile laundry service for the homeless. Orange Sky laundry was an initiative that was started by two Queensland youngsters and in 2016 for their efforts become the young Australians of the year. Nick and Lucas are the driving force behind the organization that has grown immensely through Australia and now not only providing laundry services but in some states mobile showers. They have also begun operations overseas. Orange Sky Laundry is entirely sponsor and donation funded and most of the organization is manned with volunteers with only a few key roles being salaried positions with Nick and Lucas themselves NOT on the payroll.
During my time out there I’ve come across a few situations that made me realise what a sheltered life I had lead up to this time and on several occasions have come face to face with mental health issues that are part of the everyday life for a lot of our friends on the street. It woke me up to a few incorrect concepts around this issue and the fact that previously it hadn’t been so blindly obvious to me that mental health illness was in fact an illness just the same as any other illness and that in general not enough was being done about it for the sufferers.
Last week-end I spent all Saturday and Sunday completing a Mental Health First Aid training course that was provided by Orange Sky Laundry and I have to say that I came away from that two days feeling like the level of my general awareness had increased by about 400%. I’m convinced that this course should be a mandatory part of our education including for schools and in particular high schools.
There is no question that a person impacted by mental illness often feels alone and misunderstood leading to isolation and at risk behavior, whereas if we all understood that in general these issues can be addressed, it would I am sure help the sufferers and those who feel that they are helpless bystanders take action and maybe even just have the tools to ask the right questions and say the right thing at the right time.
Want to help out? It costs Orange Sky Laundry $6 to wash and dry someones clothes. Head on over to the website to donate the cost of one or many loads, buy a supporters t-shirt, volunteer your time or even help out by purchasing some much needed equipment. Every bit counts to helping those less fortunate then us.