Disability Royal Commission

Heartbreaking evidence heard

Foundation Editorial

Stories of intimidation, exploitation, abuse and violence experienced by people with disability are difficult to comprehend. I assumed that this would be more prevalent on social media than face-to-face because people can be bullies, cowards or both online with very little chance of detection or repercussions …  and I was wrong …  the stories of abuse, belittling, sexual assault and threats in almost any setting outside the home that you can imagine – on neighbourhood streets, in shops, in taxis, in buses, on trains, certainly on planes, in parks, at concerts – the space between home and the workplace is fraught with danger, remembering that both home and the workplace are not necessarily safe havens for all with disability. There is a sickness, depravity and lack of basic humanity in a not insignificant chunk of the population that makes it very hard to have faith and trust in society at large.

For many, the only agency, the only control available is some level of choice about how to deal with the situation, and that level of choice may be significantly limited for many. That control and choice relates to achieving and maintaining good mental health.

Mental health professionals and support for good mental health can be as important or even more important to people with HSP as your neurologist or physio. If you don’t have mental health issues, good for you, and while you are on top of things, build your resilience, build your strengths, because it is more likely than not that the day will come when your mental health will be challenged. It may not seem like it at first thought, but maintaining good mental health is like maintaining good physical health in more ways than most people imagine – what we eat, what we put in our body affects our physical health; what we see, read and ingest into our brains affects our mental health; – regular exercise routines are good for our physical health; regular mental exercise routines are good for our mental health. Sometimes we can achieve both at the same time with practices that have both physical and mental components, such as yoga and meditative activities.

The importance of good relationships, social connections and social networks should not be underestimated. You don’t need a circle of 10 or 20 people, but everyone needs quality relationships as one of the foundations of achieving and maintaining good mental health.

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SOURCE: ABC NEWS. 20 November 2022

Australians living under state control are testifying at the Disability Royal Commission. But gag laws mean you won’t see their faces

By Anne Connolly

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