COVID-19 has changed the way we are all living and for millions of Australians how we have been working too. As the weeks pass, we are encouraged to take care of our physical health, but it’s imperative that your mental health or mental wellness is prioritised too.
If you imagine your physical health is on a spectrum - one side is poor physical health and the other is good physical health, it takes effort and work to keep yourself on that good side of the spectrum. Well this is no different with your mental health, sometimes we can neglect this which is an integral part of everyday well-being.
I’ve been often quoted that knowing the more common signs of a mental health disorder is equally important as knowing resuscitation, both can have a profound impact on the lives of our loved ones and the wider community.
When we look statistically at mental health in Australia, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a common mental illness within a 12-month period. The 3 most common mental illnesses affecting Australians aged between 16 – 85 include Anxiety disorders 14%, Depressive and Bipolar disorders 6.2% and Substance Use disorders. Of the 1 in 5 Australians experiencing a mental health disorder only 35% of them seek professional support.
Let’s stop for one moment and think about that statistic - 20% of all Australians will be affected by a mental illness in one year and now let’s think about our friends, family and work colleagues, statistically we will all know someone or will experience a disorder ourselves.
So, knowing the above stats, it’s important that we all have a basic understanding of the more common triggers, signs and symptoms of a worsening or developing mental health problem or illness to be able to support our own wellbeing and that of our loved ones.
Like any illness, early intervention is the key to a successful treatment and being able to recognise these more common signs can be the catalyst for positive professional intervention.
The below is a basic list of the more common triggers to a mental health crisis. Knowing that you or a loved one have experienced a potential trigger and then is presenting with two or more of these common signs & symptoms it is important that you or the individual seek clinical support.
To clarify, a “Sign” is what you can see in someone & a “Symptom” is what someone can feel and experience.
It’s important to note these are basic indicators, the reality is that someone living with a mental health disorder may not show any of the above signs or symptoms that is why it is important that as a community we continue to build a positive culture around mental health, removing the perceived stigma and barriers to create opportunities for those who feel isolated to reach out for support.
These are undoubtedly challenging times, but DO NOT BE AFRAID NOR HESITATE TO SEEK HELP IF YOU NEED IT. Help and support is there in so many forms from family and friends to health professionals like your GP or psychologist. If you or a loved one needs support, Lifeline is there 24/7 365 days a year 13 11 14.
Look after yourself and each other and remember “A simple conversation could potentially save a life.”
Steven Gamble, Founder, Man Anchor
Steven Gamble founded Man Anchor in 2017 with the hope to engage, educate and empower the community to kick start positive conversation around mental health. Steven believes the key to change in the way the community addresses mental health is education “I’m in a privileged position to work with a wide spectrum of the committee from your local sporting clubs, committee groups, small and large business to all levels of government.”
Steven is especially passionate about the printing and communications sector from 25 years working within the industry as a printer and more recently as the National Sales Manager of Bottcher Systems Australia a key technical partner of the Ovato Group. Over the last 10 years Steven has worked with all our production facilities across the country.