Fitness

Silvana Philippoussis is breaking down the barriers surrounding women's mental health

The 32-year-old wife of Australian tennis pro Mark Philippoussis is kissing away the blues this September.

By Katie Skelly
Silvana Philippoussis

With one in three Aussie women suffering from depression or anxiety during their lifetime, the cause to speak out and raise awareness about mental health in women has never been more important.

Along with a slew of A-list Aussies, Silvana Philippoussis is getting behind Liptember, a campaign dedicated to educating the community on women's mental health while raising funds for specific research and support programs.

Throughout the month of September, women are urged to don their favourite lippy to help raise awareness about mental health.

“It’s a cause very close to my heart and I was absolutely honoured to be asked to represent and support Liptember as an ambassador this year,” says Silvana Philippoussis.
“It’s a cause very close to my heart and I was absolutely honoured to be asked to represent and support Liptember as an ambassador this year,” says Silvana Philippoussis.

Speaking candidly to Woman’s Day, the 32-year-old wife of Australian tennis pro, Mark Philippoussis, revealed just a few of the pressures she and Aussie women face on a day-to-day basis.

“Women, we tend to take a lot on our shoulders and put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We think that we can be superheroes and that we can take on anything and everything that comes our way," Silvana tells us.

“With our busy lifestyles and families and careers, we have a habit of putting ourselves on the backburner – I mean I always put others in front of myself and during my struggles I suppressed my emotions for the good of my family, but I learnt in time that this wasn’t necessarily the best decision.”

Silvana hopes that by encouraging women to talk about their experiences and emotions, we can lift each other up to find the confidence and the strength to get through the tough times.

While she admits that her pain is still fresh, Silvana bravely opens up about a time of heartbreak in her life, which she believes helped teach her to speak out.

“Like so many other women out there, I too have gone through a mentally challenging time.”

“My father passed away in 2014, just two or three months after I gave birth to my first child. He was just 54 and it was really unexpected,” the 32-year-old recalls.

While she admits that her husband hates a lippy smooch, the mother-of-one is kissing away the blues with her favourite shade, Cutie! “I gravitated towards cutie! A bright lippy completes my look as it brightens up my day.”
While she admits that her husband hates a lippy smooch, the mother-of-one is kissing away the blues with her favourite shade, Cutie! “I gravitated towards cutie! A bright lippy completes my look as it brightens up my day.”

Silvana was abroad in London, supporting her husband Mark as he played in the Wimbledon tournament when she heard the devastating news.

“I was just about to come back home where my father was going to meet his very first grandchild for the first time.”

Speaking of how she coped with her heartbreak of her hero’s sudden passing, Silvana admits that at first, she simply “put on a face.”

“No one knew, and being really private I decided to keep it to myself and put on a face to get through the day.”

Silvana stresses the importance of [grounding](http://www.womansday.com.au/style-beauty/health-body/earthing-or-grounding-can-improve-your-overall-health-15665|target="_blank") oneself and getting outside during personal struggles. [Image/Rosanna Faraci]
Silvana stresses the importance of grounding oneself and getting outside during personal struggles. [Image/Rosanna Faraci]

Elaborating, she says: “It’s something I feel like a lot of women do, sometimes we pretend everything’s okay even through times of sadness.”

With the help of Liptember, the mother-of-one hopes “to encourage other women to speak out and reach for help just like I did.”

“I was lucky to have my family, friends and such a strong support network to talk to, and as a result, friends have come to me with their own experiences, and now it’s a beautiful thing that we can work through our struggles together.”

WATCH: Mark and Silvana teach son Nicholas tennis in the video player below! Post continues...

At two years old, Silvana and Mark’s son Nicholas still has a lot of growing up to do.

While Silvana plans to teach her darling boy about the world and its wonders, she also hopes to teach him about the importance of having a strong foundation when it comes to mental health.

“Number one, I want to instill strong family values. I tend to believe that a strong foundation can help you deal with whatever life has to throw at you," she explained.

“As long as he feels love, he’ll be able to open up and talk to me and Mark.”

Will the couple soon add another sweet child to their brood? Keep reading to find out!
Will the couple soon add another sweet child to their brood? Keep reading to find out!

As for whether the couple plan on welcoming another sweet addition into their family of four, which Silvana insists includes her beloved pup, Mika, well, we just might be able to expect an announcement soon!

“We talk about that a lot! We’re definitely thinking about it and we’re hoping that we’re blessed with another one soon.”

Click here to register and find out more about Liptember!

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