Mental health is all about our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Not only does it affect the way we think, feel and act when we face life, but also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make decisions. Our mental health can often be threatened by situations that cause us stress, anxiety, worry, depression, homesickness, among other negative feelings.
It has never been more relevant to talk about your mental health. None of us are exempt from going through this and in fact, there is nothing wrong with admitting that sometimes we are not okay. What we cannot afford is to keep those feelings in for so long, so it is always good to seek help and support to improve our well-being.
You are not alone
I personally have struggled with some of these feelings and it’s good to know there are options out there to improve our mental health. For example, Partners in Wellbeing – funded by the Victorian Government - provides free support, coaching and advice to improve your wellbeing. Partners in Wellbeing also helps develop strategies to get on top of the situation when needed, strategies such as:
- Focusing on the things in your life that matter and you like most.
- Creating a sense of community by keeping connected and taking care of ourselves and others.
- Keeping yourself both physically and mentally active.
A single question can save lives
“R U OK?” is another organisation you can get in touch with, they promote mental health awareness and suicide prevention, provide free support and resources while encouraging everybody to reach out to those at risk in their community. You can also make a difference in someone else’s life only by asking: are you OK? It’s such a powerful way to start a life-changing conversation.
Since 2009, the national R U OK? day takes place annually on the second Thursday of September as a reminder to connect with and look after those around you every day.
Understanding your emotions
When it comes to your emotions, it can be difficult to know what is normal and what is not.
Our wellbeing can be impacted by one these changes::
- Changes in your eating or sleeping habits
- Isolating yourself from the people and activities you enjoy
- Have little or no energy
- Feeling empty or like nothing matters
- Have unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking or drinking more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Have severe mood swings that cause problems in your relationships
- Thinking about hurting yourself or others
- Not being able to do daily tasks like going to work or school
Remember that you are not alone, it is normal to get these feelings in such challenging times and if you are experiencing any of them, talk to your friends and family, find information and seek help.
There are a number of organisations you can contact to talk about your situation:
- Partners in Wellbeing – 1300 37 5330
- Mensline – 1300 78 9978
- Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800