Each year World Mental Health Day is observed around the world on October 10 to raise awareness and advocate for mental health. Our mental health affects how we feel, think, behave and relate to others, and during this COVID pandemic, prioritising our mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever!
Mental Health Australia’s campaign this year is centred on encouraging everyone to make a promise to “Look after your mental health, Australia.” Australia’s Health Report 2020 shows that one in five Australians are affected by mental health issues annually which is expected to rise due to the pandemic. World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders in the mental health space to talk about their work, and advocate for mental health care. We asked a couple of our Counsellors to highlight some common mental health concerns:
Some common myths on mental health that need to be challenged:
1. MYTH: Mental Health is a lifelong diagnosis. The perception that acknowledging you have a mental health issue will label you for the rest of your life, even after you overcome it.
TRUTH: Some mental health issues particularly those that stem from traumatic life events can be processed and result in full healing.
2. MYTH: If you had a mental health issue in the past, it will keep resurfacing.
TRUTH: You can generally fully process, heal and grow through dealing with mental health issues.
3. MYTH: If you’ve had mental health issues, you can’t be trusted, your judgement is impaired, and you won’t be believed.
TRUTH: Having a mental health issues does not necessarily mean a person loses their ability to understand reality or to make sound judgement and decisions.
How can people take better care of their mental health?
- Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would want others to treat you.
- Take the time to process any trauma that has caused poor mental health.
- As difficult as this can be, forgiveness of those who have hurt us lifts a burden off your shoulders and helps you live with freedom.
- Let go of control. Understand what you can and can’t control, stress and worry over factors you have no control over will only hurt your mental health.
People who are struggling with mental health issues have a tendency to withdraw from normal life engagement. When you spend too much time in isolation, thoughts and feelings can become distorted and off kilter. Be mindful of over thinking, that is when your mind works overtime and you become so overwhelmed with worry that you cannot find solutions. If you find yourself in this situation, please speak to someone. During this season take heed to manage your consumption of daily world news or obsessing over data relating to the pandemic, having an unhealthy focus can often lead to poor mental health.
We are fortunate to have a good mental health care system in Australia, with many options available. These include:
- Mental Health Care Plans available through your local GP which provide access to a Psychologist to support your mental health journey;
- 24/7 telephone counselling services;
- Beyond Blue and other online mental health services.
As we head to the end of what has been a challenging year for everyone, let’s all ensure we are prioritising self-care, maintaining healthy connections and seeking professional help if we need support.
CityCare Counselling Team
If you or someone you know needs urgent support, please contact the helplines below:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kidshelpline: 1800 55 1800
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1800 273 8255
Samaritans: 116 123