We know that mental health is hard, and we're here to help. We've created this space so you can learn more about what mental health is, what it looks like, and how you can take care of yourself. You're not alone—and you're doing great!
If you're worried about your mental health, you might feel unsure about whether you need professional help to feel better. It's normal if it doesn't feel obvious. But if you're experiencing some of the following signs, it's probably time to reach out for help.
▶ You've been feeling low or anxious for a prolonged period of time
▶ You've been relying on alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with your feelings
▶ Your relationships are suffering because of your mental health issues
▶ You're finding it difficult to complete everyday tasks and responsibilities that usually come easily to you
▶ You're thinking about hurting yourself or others
Mental health is an issue that affects so many of us. It's not something to be ashamed of. There is no need to suffer in silence.
In fact, the more you talk about it, the more people will ask you about it and the more people who ask about it the more likely you are to get the support you need.
Here's how you can help those with mental health issues:
▶ Encourage them to exercise - Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and negative moods and improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Finally, exercise can even reduce insomnia!
▶ Encourage them to eat healthy - Eating a well balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is essential for mental health. A good diet can have a very positive effect on your mood and energy levels which are important factors for maintaining good mental health as well.
▶ Encourage them to practice gratitude - Practicing gratitude is a great way to improve mental well being. By focusing on what we are grateful for in life, we can shift our attention away from negative thoughts that may be affecting us negatively and instead focus on our gratefulness.
Mental illnesses and disorders, like their physical counterparts, are very common. Nearly everyone will be affected by some form of mental illness or disorder within all of their lives. A combination of environmental factors, societal pressures, and genetics can all cause these conditions to develop; they are not the fault of anyone afflicted with them!
This is a list of signs that you may have a mental illness or disorder:
▶ Inability to concentrate or focus on tasks or projects
▶ Repetitive negative thoughts or fears
▶ Difficulty with relationships or social situations
▶ Drastic changes in behavior, eating habits, sleep patterns, etc.
▶ Excessive worry about unimportant things
▶ Feeling helpless or hopeless when faced with small challenges
▶ Consistent feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15–44.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, you are not alone. There are ways to get help before things get worse.
Everyone’s experience of suicidal feelings can be different, but there are some common warning signs that you may notice in yourself or someone else. These include:
▶ talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
▶ talking about being a burden to others
▶ increasing use of alcohol or drugs
▶ acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
▶ sleeping too little or too much
▶ withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
▶ feeling trapped or like there’s no way out of a situation
▶ expressing rage or seeking revenge against people who have wronged them
▶ displaying extreme mood swings.
One of the best things you can do when supporting someone with mental illness is to take care of yourself. This includes:
▶ asking for help when you need it
▶ making time to rest and relax
▶ joining support groups or networks in your area
▶ seeing your own doctor regularly so they know what's going on in your life
▶ putting your needs first sometimes - this doesn't make you selfish! It means you'll be better able to support others when they need it too
After a disaster, it’s important to take care of your mental health and wellbeing.
Disasters can be a stressful time for you and the people around you. As well as the physical impacts of a disaster, it can affect how you feel emotionally. You may experience stress, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Your emotions will be different for everyone but there are ways to manage these feelings and get support when you need it.
Tips for managing stress after a disaster
There are some things you can do to help yourself and family members after a disaster. These include:
▶ talking about your experiences with friends and family
▶ spending time with your children or other loved ones
▶ seeking professional advice from your doctor or another health professional
▶ staying positive by focusing on what you have left rather than what has been lost
▶ accepting that your feelings will change over time
If you've ever felt overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you're not alone. You may be taking on too much and not prioritizing self-care—these are common stressors that many people face. Here are some tips to help you balance your life and manage your stress:
▶ Identify and address the root causes of your stress.
▶ Be open with your employer about what's stressing you out.
▶ Set boundaries for yourself so that work doesn't spill into every part of your life.
▶ Develop a routine for relaxing each day and stick to it!
If you're living in a rural or remote area and need help with your mental health, we're here for you.
Sometimes it can feel like you're all alone when you live far from a city, but that's not true. There are professionals out there who are trained to help people with mental health issues—and they're ready to support you too.
Don't hesitate to reach out for the help and support that's available to you. If there's no one in your area, you can always talk to a professional online.
If you or someone you know needs mental health support, there are lots of services available.
Help lines, counselling and support groups are just some of the ways we can help.