20th Dec – International Human Solidarity Day

International Human Solidarity Day is a day to celebrate our unity in diversity and a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.  

Every day, BUSY Health sees a diverse range of clients from all different backgrounds and circumstances. Culturally and linguistically diverse, diversity of gender, sexuality, identity and clients with highly individualised circumstances. Non-judgement, supportiveness and tolerance are values underpinning our services.

We also see the impacts of socio-economic disadvantage and poverty in the work we do. It can be extremely challenging for our clients to reduce mental health barriers to employment like anxiety and worry when they are navigating crucial challenges like finding shelter, housing, food or safety. 

The Millennium Declaration identified solidarity as a fundamental value wherein those who either suffer or benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most. Initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund aim to eradicate poverty.

Christmas can awaken a spirit of solidarity as many people and companies make donations to vulnerable people or organisations supporting vulnerable people. Solidarity can lead to feelings of greater cohesion and provide meaningful connection.

Sometimes though, circumstances can interrupt our sense of solidarity with social groups or connections that are important to us. This can affect our mental health and may lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety or depression.

There is strength in solidarity though, for both those in need, and those who are prepared to stand alongside them, helping where we can as they navigate their challenges. BUSY Health is committed to supporting those going through mental health issues to help them back on their feet and through the hardest times.

This holiday season, we encourage you to draw upon values and express your solidarity with those doing it tough through doing something meaningful for those in need.

Who might need your solidarity, kindness or support this holiday season?

  • Someone experiencing homelessness, hunger or poverty
  • Someone experiencing loss or grief
  • Someone living with mental health challenges
  • Someone living with disability or health condition
  • Someone going through relationship difficulties
  • Someone living in confinement – hospitals, elderly homes, home confinement or in correctional or rehabilitation facilities
  • Refugees and new Australians seeking social acceptance and connection
  • A family member
  • Somebody who lives away from family and friends
  • A neighbour with few social or familial connections

Ideas to Enact Human Solidarity

  • Spend time or start a conversation with someone who lacks social connection
  • Volunteer time to a charity, especially beyond the holiday season
  • Write a letter to someone who would appreciate your words
  • When you see a systemic issue, instead of complaining, write to someone with power to influence that system (e.g. your local politicians), if possible providing realistic and workable ideas to make positive change
  • Invite someone with limited social supports to a social event or activity, giving them an opportunity to broaden their social connections
  • Make a donation of food, clothing or money to a charitable organisation
  • Invest in a child’s future through education, skills or providing opportunities
  • Plan with friends or family how you can collectively give back and help
  • Help someone disadvantaged to access healthcare, whether by paying for support they need, or offering to help them find and attend appointments
  • Sponsor a student, for example those through BUSY Schools

BUSY Health can also provide training and consultancy for employers and organisations wishing to engage their teams around values, giving back and making meaningful contributions in the mental health space.

Article contributed by PACFA accredited BUSY Health Counsellor, Rebecca Stavely.

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