On Friday 7 October, St Bart’s is encouraging the Perth community to Say G’Day to people experiencing street homelessness in a bid to highlight the positive impact a simple acknowledgement can have on those doing it tough.
Following the success of our inaugural Say G’Day campaign in 2021, St Bart’s hopes this year’s campaign will encourage more people to consider what their initial reaction is when they see a person living on the street and how that reaction may impact their mental health and wellbeing when they are already down.
St Bart’s General Manager Strategic Partnerships and Growth Neil Starkie said the premise of St Bart’s Say G’Day campaign is as simple as it is impactful.
“Imagine dealing with the harsh realities of homelessness and then seeing people look or move away from you, bury their head in their phone or pretend to make a call to avoid interacting with you or even acknowledging your existence,” Mr Starkie said.
“Many of the people St Bart’s has supported have spoken of how they felt invisible and worthless when members of the public actively sought to avoid and ignore them when they were at their lowest and most vulnerable while living on the streets. These actions have a profound impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness, which is why we are asking the people of Perth to simply say G’Day when they see someone doing it tough on Friday 7 October.
“Saying G’Day doesn’t cost a thing, but it’s impact can be priceless.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the rate of mental health issues is substantially higher among people with a history of homelessness (54%) compared to the general population (19%).
Celebrated annually in October in the lead up to World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day on 10 October, St Bart’s Say G’Day campaign also seeks to highlight the important message that homelessness doesn’t discriminate.
“Homelessness can, and does, happen to people from all walks of life,” Mr Starkie said.
“It can happen to anyone, so the least we can do is show empathy, humanity and treat people doing it tough with dignity and respect and offer them a simple acknowledgement when we cross paths with them. Something so simple can be so powerful.”
How people can support St Bart’s Say G’Day campaign
- On Friday 7 October – and every day following – simply say G’Day when you pass someone living on the street.
- Visit saygday.org.au and download social media tiles, messages, filters and posters to help spread the word on your social media platforms and in your workplace.
- Talk to your friends, family and colleagues about the Say G’Day