Love Me Love You is a foundation that aims to make a difference to people’s mental health by simply starting a conversation. We chat to Lance Picioane, the founder and CEO, about resilience, overcoming challenges and his hopes for the future.
You have such an inspiring personal story. For those who don't know, what has made you so passionate about mental health?
My passion for making a difference in the mental health outcomes of our community comes from my own lived experience, and having ridden the roller-coaster of happiness and devastation for such a long time. My dream is that we are to live in a world without prejudice or discrimination, and for our community to come together in times of challenge to create a safe place for people to share their emotional and physical challenges.
Your passion led you to create Love Me Love You. What work does your foundation do?
In essence we are a mental health education and training resource program that enables people that we come into contact with to engage in a positive and preventative mental health framework. We facilitate tailored programs for children from six years of age to adults, working with schools, community clubs and corporate entities. We also have a support pathway program that helps people navigate the mental healthcare system when they are in need of support.
What practices do you recommend to manage and improve mental health?
There are a range of practices to help promote a positive mental health journey. My greatest advice is to slow down and make the time for your self-care. Taking a holistic approach to your mental health and well-being is crucial as well as trying different things that work for you. Practicing mindfulness and writing in your gratitude journal every day will go a long way to creating a positive mental health framework.
This year has been challenging and unprecedented. What advice would you give to people to help them overcome these challenges and improve resilience?
I think the challenging times that we have experienced this year have given us a great opportunity to step back and slow down, connect to simple self-care practices and step up our ability to have a deeper social connection to those people in our lives that really matter. Improving resilience is founded on the very principle of self-awareness and utilising the learnings from your experiences every day to move forward. We live in a society that has changed our expectations and the sooner we can adapt and thrive the better off we will all be.
We've come so far in recent years, however how can we, as a community, continue to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health?
I think that now more than ever we have become more accepting of the ability to share our mental health challenges and to connect with the very idea that we are NEVER ALONE on this journey. The power of storytelling has a profound impact on destigmatising mental health, we need to be acknowledging those people around us that we are in this together. Create conversations without judgement, consistently check in with your crew and normalise the behaviour and language used when approaching mental health conversations.
Lance Piciaone, CEO of Love Me Love You Foundation - @lovemeloveyoufoundation
If you or a loved one are struggling, please reach out to Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.
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