Mental health issues will affect 1 in 5 Australians every year.
Anxiety disorders are often the most common mental health challenge, followed by depression. Mental Health Month is co-ordinated every October by the Mental Health Association of NSW. This year the theme is ‘Share the Journey’. People across Australia come together during the month to promote good mental health and wellbeing in their local communities.
Psychological wellbeing is a vast spectrum and most people have been touched by negative thoughts or periods of depression causing them to temporarily withdraw from life, often shutting out the support of others at these times. This mental withdrawal also affects us physiologically causing chemical, hormonal, muscular and postural changes in the body.
As a community we can observe these early signs of withdrawal, physical changes and uncharacteristic behaviour and reach out and connect with people, offering a hand to pull them up from a dissension into depression. All it takes is a little awareness and a compassionate ear to connect so that someone feels truly met, understood, confirmed and accepted in order to feel safe to return to community.
Professional support can then facilitate a resolving of any underlying hurt or negativity that we often don’t want to feel, exposing to the light the darker recesses of the mind we can all touch from time to time.
It is important to recognise that whilst we often retreat into the popular cave in our head, we live in a body, and psychological wellbeing requires us to take care of our whole body and being. According to Plato:
“the part can never be well unless the whole is well”.
Check out this short video from Black Dog Institute to help you exercise your mood.
Find out more about Mental Health Month.