Sunflowers

UTSoC, 2018

Eliza Spencer recounts her encounters with sunflowers and recovery in a personal reflection on her path through depression and anxiety.

Sunflowers follow the trajectory of the sun, moving their heads to soak up the optimum amount of light and converting to energy before the day ends. The scientific term is phototropism, a reminder to seek out the light in each day, and rest when the sun has set.  They represent happiness, longevity and loyalty, all traits essential for people working through their mental health journeys. Sunflowers are my totem on days when my anxiety peaks, or when it seems too hard to get out of bed, a reminder to soak up the light.

Closing the Mental Health Gap for Aussie Youth

Young people living in Australia face significant barriers in accessing mental health services as rates of mental illness remain high.

report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that over a quarter of Australians aged 16-24 years old have a mental health condition that lasts for more than a year. Only half of these young Australians receive professional help from a counsellor, psychologist or social worker. Lack of access to adequate services due to distance, cost and stigma remains a barrier a decade on from the reports original release.