Keeping it real: Liptember launches ‘Real Talk’ campaign

Get ready to pop on some lippy as Liptember, Australia’s leading women’s health charity, launches Real Talk – its most powerful campaign ever.

When Liptember kicked off 12 years ago, not even founder Luke Morris could have guessed the impact it would have.

The idea was simple. Encourage women to wear one of the charity’s brightly coloured lipsticks throughout September to raise funds and awareness for women’s mental health.

And it resonated with women of all ages and demographics nationwide.

So much so, Luke says, that as well as raising more than $10 million towards women’s mental health, a “diverse and amazing” community began to form.

“Women were connecting, sharing experiences and supporting each other,” Luke says.

“This year we’re giving these women a voice — elevating them into the spotlight and making them the heroes of our 2021 campaign.”

Speaking up

Real Talk features 10 passionate Liptember supporters, all advocates for women’s mental health, talking openly about their own battles with anxiety and depression.

They include family violence and breast cancer survivor Emma Gierschick, and Bec Connolly, who suffered postnatal anxiety after losing four babies before having two healthy boys.

“You’ll see their stories and videos on our website and social media channels and they are incredibly powerful and authentic,” Luke says.

“It may have been daunting but these women have bravely stepped up in front of their friends and their families and total strangers and said, ‘this is what I’ve been through’.

“We’re joining them in saying, ‘let’s end the stigma around mental health and let’s talk real talk’.”

Real impact

Founded in 2010, Liptember set out to fill a gap in gender-specific support for women’s mental health.

“In the past, the majority of research in mental health has focused on men, with the findings then applied to women,” Luke explains.

By placing a gender lens on mental health, research has been shown to be more accurate and support programs more effective, the charity says.

Each year Liptember funds are donated to a range of impact partners, which deliver carefully selected women’s mental health programs, initiatives, support services and research.

“From humble beginnings we’ve grown into an organisation supporting thousands of women across Australia,” Luke says.

“Last year, during a global pandemic, we raised $1.2 million, which will allow us to fund support for women who need it more than ever.

“We’re extremely proud to have broken down some of the barriers around mental health and to have funded some really significant outcomes.”

Getting involved

To take part in Liptember, register online as an individual fundraiser or create a team to seek sponsorship for your month-long lippy commitment.

“Our priority is to improve the mental health of Australian women who take on a myriad of responsibilities as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, wives and partners,” Luke says. “Real women, with real stories.”

Liptember raises funds for women’s mental health. To take part, wear a brightly coloured lipstick to show your support. You can buy a Liptember lipstick for $4.99 from your local Chemist Warehouse or My Chemist store.