Mental Health is just as important as physical health, especially during an unprecedented time of lockdowns and isolation. In Australia, mental illnesses are very common, with about 20% of Australians aged 16-85 experiencing a mental illness in any year. Almost half of Australians will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and can often occur in combination.
Australian youth are at the most risk of mental illness, with the onset of mental illness typically occurring during mid-to-late adolescence (18-24 years old). Further, 54% of people with mental illness do not seek any treatment, which worsens their mental health as access to treatment is essential. Over 75% of people with mental illness who seek treatment see their mental outlook improve immensely. This is especially important as mental health illnesses cause distress, impact on day-to-day activities and can sometimes cause poor physical health and suicide.
On the other side, maintaining positive mental health has shown increased learning, creativity and productivity. In some cases, physical health and life expectancy improves substantially. However, mental health is complex, and someone not experiencing a mental illness may not necessarily have positive mental health. Similarly, it’s possible to experience a mental illness while feeling positively well in many other aspects of life. Ultimately, maintaining positive mental health is not just about the absence of mental illness, but also about being emotionally and socially healthy.
Treating Mental Illness | Mental Health During Covid-19
If you feel that you may be affected by depression, anxiety, substance abuse or any other mental illness, remember that these illnesses are treatable by widely available measures. The earlier you seek support, the better. At SGMC, we offer the services of two experienced psychologists (Dr Phoebe Lau & Dr Damon Ashworth). Further, our GP’s are more than willing to talk and help refer you to a Mental Health Care Plan if you require it.
Just talking to your friends and family about your mental health can help a lot as well, and there are trained counselors available online just a call away.
Maintaining Positive Well Being
Keeping your mind healthy is an important part in maintain positive overall health and wellbeing. Here are a few tips to help maintain your positive mental health
- Spend time with friends and loved ones
- Talk about your feelings regularly, it’s important to not bottle up your emotions
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Avoid illicit drugs
- Keep active and maintain a positive diet
- Develop new skills and hobbies
- Set realistic goals
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Doing all or most of these tips will help improve your mental outlooks immensely, and help prevent you from experiencing mental illness.
If you require support, don’t hesitate to call for help
Southgate Medical Centre – 03 9690 1433
Lifeline Australia – 13 14 11
Beyond Blue – 1800 512 348
Southgate Medical Centre
Mental Health During Covid-19