Being human can be hard sometimes and mental health challenges are more common than you might think. At least 45% of us will experience mental ill health during our lives; chances are you or someone you know will experience mental health challenges at some point. Events can get us down and relationships can take a toll. When feeling of sadness, constant stress or confusing health symptoms stop you from enjoying life and the things your normally do, don’t just ignore it and hope it gets better – help is available.
While women are more likely to experience anxiety disorders (18% compared with 11%), men are more than twice as likely to have substance abuse disorders (7% compared with 3.3%) and account for 75% of deaths by suicide It’s important to remember that people can and do recover a good life.
How do I know if I have mental health challenges?
Recognising when something is wrong is an important part of caring for yourself and helps you take charge of your mental health and wellbeing. When something just seems off, or your thoughts, feeling or behaviour feel extra challenging, don’t ignore it. Acknowledging something isn’t right is the first step towards recovery.
What do I do now? It’s easier than you think
You might think that it’s weak to admit that you’re going through a tough time, but if you have a mental health condition you can’t just ‘snap out of it’. There’s more to it than that. 20% of Australian adults are affected by mental health issues every year, so you are not alone.
Start by talking to someone you trust – discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member or a colleague. Your doctor is also a good source of information and can help you work out your next step.
A recent development in support services is the NDIS, a new scheme that offers funding and customised supports to people with some mental health conditions or physical disabilities that are enduring. The NDIS works with individuals, their families and carers to develop a personalised plan of support services. Get the supports you need to live the life you want.
You can also access a community service to help you better support your needs. For some people, medication, the hearing voices network or supported accommodation, where assistance can be on-hand when and as you need it, might also be a part of their recovery.