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Understanding mental health

Interrelate is encouraging people to learn more about mental health this month to allow them to be more aware of their own mental state and the wellbeing of others. October is recognised as Mental Health Month in NSW, with this year’s theme of ‘Learn and Grow’ encouraging everyone, whether they have experienced mental illness or not, to learn and understand the importance of looking after their mental health and wellbeing.

“One in five Australians are affected by mental illness each year with almost half (45%) of all Australians experiencing a mental illness in their lifetime” said Interrelate’s Area Manager, Anne Heath.

“We believe that the more people understand mental health the less stigma there will be attached to seeking help when it is needed” added Ms Heath.

Key Facts and Figures

What is mental health?

The state of wellbeing in which a person can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to their community.

What causes mental illness?

Mental illness results from complex interactions between the mind, body and environment. Contributing factors can include stress, genetics, chemistry, hormones, use of alcohol, drugs and other substances, cognitive thought patterns, isolation, financial problems, family breakdown or violence. 

How can I improve my own mental health?

Just like with your physical health, there are steps you can take to improve your mental health. The factors that contribute to mental illness can be minimised by a strong and supportive community environment and living ahealthy lifestyle. Try our top 5 tips for improving your mental health.

Interrelate’s tips for improving mental health

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Talk about or express your feelings – share the challenges that you are facing and celebrate your successes with a trusted friend
  3. Get involved with one of your passions
  4. When you are stressed – stop, breathe deeply and slowly and have a mindful moment – if needed, share your concerns with a friend
  5. Set realistic goals

Family Mental Health Support Services

In addition to counselling and group programs, Interrelate currently operates a free mental health service ‘Connect’ for families in Bourke, Cobar and Coonamble where there is a young person who is at risk of poor mental health outcomes. 

The Connect program can help families with ideas and support, access to groups and courses to enhance their skills, liaising with schools and connecting them with their community and other appropriate services. For more information on this service call 1300 654 269.