With the recent news about James Packer announcing he is dealing with depression and stepping away from his gaming business it’s sparked a renewed focus on ‘mental health’.
According to BeyondBlue, in any one year approximately one million Australian adults have depression, and over two million are dealing with anxiety.
Australia’s response to mental health has largely been increasing expenditure on mental health-related services to cope with the increasing demand. For many reasons, individuals may seek help via family doctors, school-based counsellors, BeyondBlue and other support groups. In 2015-16 the Federal Government spent a record $9.0 billion on the running costs of mental health equivalent to $373 per person.
However there are nine possible signs of mental health issues to look out for and encourage you to seek professional help according to HealthDirect.
- Feeling anxious or worried: Are you noticing a symptoms of heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, restlessness, diarrhea or a racing mind? If experienced regularly it may be time to seek professional advice.
- Feeling depressed or unhappy: If your mood has changed from being happy to sad in the matter of weeks for a short period of time you could be at risk.
- Emotional outburst: Are you or your friends noticing extreme distress or strong feelings of anger?
- Sleep problems: Dramatic changes in your sleep pattern over a long period of time and insomnia can be signs your mental health is in a state of worry.
- Weight or appetite changes: Is your diet changing and as a result your weight by no longer consuming foods you once enjoyed regularly?
- Quiet or withdrawn: Are you spending too much time alone or disinterested in hanging around friends?
- Substance abuse: Are your decisions, thoughts, feelings being affected by substance abuse?
- Feeling guilty or worthless: Negative thoughts and constant self-criticism are signs of mental health leading to self-harm & suicidal thoughts.
- Changes in behaviour or feeling: If you’re not feeling like yourself and constantly feel “trapped” then this is a warning sign.
Seeking assistance for your mental health should be acted upon early, if left untreated it can manifest into a bigger issue.
Your local GP is your first point of contact and can work with you to find the most appropriate treatment as well as make referrals if necessary. Another way of seeking support is to talk to family, friends or a counsellor to help you understand your situation.
Lifeline Australia also provides a personalised online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services you can contact them on 13 11 14 (24 hour support line).
Author: John Wanna, Taurus Marketing, March 2018