Your Mental Health Matters

How mental health affects us

It is estimated that almost half of Australia's population aged between 16 and 85 will experience a mental health condition during their lifetime.1 However, mental health is relevant to all of us, not just those living with a diagnosed mental health condition such as anxiety, depression or bipolar. 

Mental Health is about being mentally well and relates to our social and emotional wellbeing, it influences how we think, feel and behave. It affects our decision making, our ability to manage stress and how we handle challenging situations or setbacks.

World Mental Health Day 2020

Whether you have a lived mental health condition, are caring for someone who does, or strengthening and protecting your own mental health, we all have a part to play in raising awareness and support for mental health and wellness. Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day and encourages us to take action to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. It's a time to support your own mental health, friends and family who may be struggling and implementing initiatives in the workplace to promote wellness.

Protecting your mental health and wellbeing as a healthcare or support worker

As essential healthcare and support workers, you are used to looking out for the wellbeing of others, at times overlooking your own needs. Maintaining and protecting your mental health is just as important as your physical wellbeing, and is key to ensuring you can continue to provide essential care and support to your patients and clients.

Some practical ways to stay mentally healthy include:
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and participate in regular exercise
  • Take regular breaks at work and get sufficient rest between shifts
  • Connect with family and friends regularly
  • Develop daily routines to bring structure and help you feel in control
  • Know where to seek professional mental health support
  • Bring balance by practising mindfulness with the guidance of the Smiling Mind app.

Mental health for healthcare and support workers during COVID-19

COVID-19 has presented the greatest health challenge our country has seen this century, which has bought challenging circumstances and increased stress and pressures. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed and vulnerable during these times.

When you become stressed or overwhelmed, it's essential to recognise these feelings and take action by practising self-care and implementing coping measures. Our webinar with registered psychologist, Danielle Buckley, presents a range of strategies and techniques to assist you in maintaining your mental health and managing stress during challenging times.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and there are many free digital tools and resources available from Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute to support you.

Remember, if you don't look after yourself first, you won't be able to support your patients, clients or other people in your life.

If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline 13 11 14.

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra.

Other Sources: Beyond Blue, The Australian Government Department of Health and the Black Dog Institute.