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Auto Control Systems are extremely proud of their Sales Representative, Ben Jeffery for the time and energy he has devoted to Beyond Blue and their pivotal cause.

For most of his adult life Ben has been aware of the extent the impact poor mental health has on many West Australians, so he decided to help.

“My Dad’s generation weren’t, and still aren’t great at talking about their mental health, my generation is getting better, but we still have some way to go, particularly us guys.

“We need to remove the stigma of mental health by having simple conversations such as ‘R U Ok?’ because it is affecting too many people’s lives,” said Ben.

And you can’t ignore the numbers.

“The stats show that everyone knows someone struggling with their mental health, but the problem is most of us don’t realise that person is struggling,” recalled Ben.

As an active volunteer for the past 3 years with Beyond Blue, Ben didn’t realise that despite being extremely well known and supported, the organisation has only a very small team of whom all work out of a Melbourne office.

The significant increase in the number of Australian’s accessing services like Beyond Blue’s helpline during Covid-19 is well documented.

“We’ve been very fortunate here in WA to escape the restrictions people on the east coast have had to deal with.  Aside from the stress of being in lock down for an extended period there is also the constant worry around job security, finances, health, relationship strain – it’s a long list that has taken a huge toll.” Ben said.

As important and necessary short term counselling services are, Ben strongly believes there is a lot we can do as family groups, work groups, sporting groups, whatever the social groups you are a part of.

“I suppose that’s the reason why R U Ok? day exists and has been so well supported.  It recognises the need to not only ask the question of people close to you but to care about the answer.

“I really believe we have a shared responsibility in our workplaces to look out for each other.  We need to be alert to changes in our colleague’s behaviour and aware of significant changes occurring in their life.  Sometimes knowing someone cares and is happy for a chat is enough,” stated Ben.

Workplaces are now doing so much more to help their employees maintain or improve their mental health.

“John and Michelle have been tremendous in supporting the work I do with Beyond Blue.  Through Beyond Blue we hosted a ‘Lived Experience’ speaker here at Auto Control Systems.  The idea behind ‘Lived Experiences’ is matching a speaker to the group so in our case, an Engineer shared his personal mental health struggles.  I was so proud everyone here attended and are now certainly more attuned to each other’s mental health – we now know what to look out for,” recalled Ben.

In addition, Auto Control Systems has an employee assistance program that provides free counselling for team members to help with stress around parenting, alcohol and drugs, personal conflicts trauma and financial worries.

“We are extremely proud of the work Ben does with Beyond Blue.  He’s shown tremendous selflessness, care and courage to not only help people with their mental health but to play an active leadership role to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health,” said Auto Control Systems Managing Director, John Watts.

But as Ben articulated so well ‘We have to keep looking for the signs, asking the question and caring about the answer’.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, or you’d like to volunteer or organise a ‘Lived Experience’ for your workplace, please contact Beyond Blue.

Beyond Blue

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

1300 22 4636

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