Promoting positive mental health – Antarctic style

Hägglunds badged with mental health messages
The SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY Hägglunds unveiled at the Division's headquarters in Hobart. (Photo: Glennn Jacobson)

11th October 2017

One of Australia’s Antarctic snow vehicles has been given a make-over to help spread the word about positive mental health on the icy continent.

A Hägglunds vehicle has been painted blue and covered with mental health messages from Hobart charity SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY to remind people to have a conversation about how they are feeling.

The Australian Antarctic Division’s Social Club officially unveiled the Hägglunds at the Division’s headquarters in Kingston today.

The Social Club President, Melanie Pike, said the initiative was driven from staff and is aimed at reminding people nothing is so bad that you can’t talk about it.

“The Hägglunds will be carrying expeditioners in one of most isolated places on Earth for the next couple of years and these mental health messages are aimed at reminding people that while they may feel alone, there is always help available,” Ms Pike said.

“We wanted to show our support for SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY and creating environments where people welcome conversations about mental health and assure each other that it’s okay to not be okay.”

The messages on the Hägglunds include ‘It’s OK to talk about mental health’, ‘We’ve got to raise awareness’ and ‘It’s OK to not be OK’ alongside the iconic SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY shorts.

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY Founder, Mitch McPherson said the Hägglunds was a fantastic way to communicate an important message regarding mental wellbeing.

“We work hard to spread the message that it’s okay to talk about how you really are, and that seeking help for mental health issues needs to be viewed the same as seeking help for physical health issues,” Mr McPherson said.

“It’s really important to always remember we can speak up, listen to those who need it and support each other in tough times.”

The Hägglunds will depart Hobart for Antarctica on the Aurora Australis later this month and will arrive at Davis research station in mid-November.