CW: This article discusses suicide.
The conversation around mental health has experienced an immense shift in recent years. Once a subject that was blanketed with taboos, as a society, we’ve become increasingly open to discussing the wide range of issues that are currently impacting young Aussies.
Although we are at a point where many are using their platforms to share their own mental health stories, and topics like mindfulness are mainstream, the stats around mental health conditions like depression and anxiety showcase that there’s a lot of work to be done. According to Lifeline, 9 people die each day in Australia by suicide and currently stands as the leading cause of death among young people in Australia. It’s a sobering, heavy thought to ponder.
That’s where MOOD tea comes into the equation – a new social enterprise launched this year that is actively tackling the current mental health crisis from all ends. MOOD tea was created after a gap in the market was noticed – heaps of young people were indulging in tea, but there were no products specifically marketed towards the demographic. That, combined with the awareness of the growing mental health crisis amongst young people, sparked the inspiration behind creating a product with dual benefits.
Their aim as a brand is simple – deliver young people tea made with ingredients that work actively (and deliciously) to promote good sleep, relaxation and help the drinker de-stress while allowing the drinker to sip selflessly, knowing that the profits go on to help other young people who need support.
It’s an awesome concept that showcases the many ways in which it’s possible to understand and aid the complexities of mental health, so we had a chat with founder Jenni Hayward and the MOOD team to get some further insight into the good work they’re doing.
PTV: What exactly is ‘MOOD tea’, and how does it work?
Jenni Hayward: MOOD tea has been carefully crafted by tea experts in Melbourne who have sourced the highest quality natural ingredients. The premium pyramid teabags we use are non-GMO and biodegradable. The range has been extensively taste-tested to ensure we have the best blends possible. All the ingredients have been specifically chosen to have a positive impact on your mood – whether that’s to calm down, relax or invigorate and energise.
Some of the flavours include ‘Happy Days’ (Passionfruit & Vanilla), which is a sweet and fruity blend containing Ashwagandha, an ancient ayurvedic super-herb used to reduce cortisol, anxiety and stress and boost energy and ‘Get On Up’ (Pineapple & Cinnamon), a fruity mix with a spicy kick to promote mental alertness and stimulate blood flow, with a touch of lemon balm to help calm anxiety.
PTV: What sort of initiatives are the funds raised from MOOD tea purchases going to help develop?
JH: All the profits go towards mental health programs developed and run by UnLtd’s charity partners specialising in youth mental health, including batyr, BackTrack and Gotcha4Life. These are carefully selected charities that run programs that really work to create impactful change, whether that’s smashing the stigma around mental health, making it easier for young people to find help or to address some of the underlying causes of mental ill-health such as childhood trauma.
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PTV: What positive shifts have you seen in the mental discussion around mental health for young people?
JH: It’s been great to see the stigma around mental health reduce. Whilst there is still a lot of work to be done, young people are leading the way in embracing openness and vulnerability when it comes to sharing their mental health journeys. We want to normalise talking about mental health – it shouldn’t be any different to talking about your physical health.
We also love seeing how there is now more talk about ‘mental fitness’ and focusing on prevention by looking after your mental fitness on a constant basis rather than only addressing it when things are bad.
PTV: What does MOOD tea bring to the current changing perceptions around self-care for young people?
JH: MOOD tea is a great example of how you can be selfish and selfless at the same time. You can look after yourself whilst also looking after others, knowing that every sip you take helps you and also someone else in need. MOOD tea also promotes the importance of small daily habits, just taking a few minutes to yourself each day to have a delicious, mood-lifting tea can have a major impact on your mental wellbeing.
You can purchase MOOD tea and find out more on their website here.
If you are contemplating suicide or having suicidal thoughts, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.