Keeping Mentally Healthy
Being mentally healthy means a sense of well-being, confidence and self-esteem. It enables us to fully enjoy and appreciate other people, day-to-day life and our environment.
When we are mentally healthy we can:
• form positive relationships
• use our abilities to reach our potential
• deal with life's challenges.
How can I improve my mental health?
A few tips for positive mental health are:
• talk about or express your feelings
• exercise regularly
• eat healthy meals
• get enough sleep
• spend time with friends and loved ones
• develop new skills
• relax and enjoy your hobbies
• set realistic goals
• talk to your GP or a health professional.
What is mental illness?
One in five Australians will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives. A mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person:
• interacts with other people.
It is diagnosed according to standardised criteria.
A mental health problem also affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves, but to a lesser extent than a mental illness.
Mental illnesses are of different types and degrees of severity. Some of the major types are:
• bipolar mood disorder
• personality disorders
• eating disorders
(Source: Department of Health and Ageing)
These illnesses may also be referred to as a mental disorder, mental impairment or psychiatric disability.
Finding the right help
There is a range of support available in Western Australia, including from medical doctors, mental health nurses and allied health professionals.
For information about the different support available go to:
Emergency services and help lines
Call 000 in an emergency if you feel someone is at risk of harm
OR for mental health emergency assessment, support and referral
• Mental Health Emergency Response Line
Metro callers 1300 555 788
Peel 1800 676 822
Rural and remote areas 1800 552 002
OR go to your nearest public hospital Emergency Department.
See your GP or your nearest GP after-hours clinic.
If you need someone to talk to:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Men's Line Australia 1300 78 99 78
Kids Help Line 1800 55 18 00 for young people up to 24 years old
The Samaritans Careline 9381 5555, Freecall 1800 198 313, Youthline 9388 2500
Albany callers 9842 2776
For additional information about mental health, visit the following websites:
beyondblue - independent, not-for-profit organisation working to increase awareness of depression anxiety and related disorders throughout Australia.
SANE Australia - a national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness
Act –Belong-Commit Community based health promotion campaign which encourages people to take action to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Youth Mental Health
Being mentally healthy relates to your emotional and social wellbeing. When our mental health is good, it is much easier to cope with the stresses in life such as exams, relationship difficulties, pressure from parents, work etc.
There are times in our lives when we aren’t able to cope as well and mental health problems may occur. If this does happens, there is plenty of help available to support you.
A good starting point is the headspace website which provides lots of on-line information as well as people you can talk to.
For more information have a look at
www.headspace.org.au Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation
http://au.reachout.com Help for young people on lots of issues
www.somazone.com.au Australian website developed by young people for young people. Somazone provides fast, free, anonymous access to quality-assured health information.
Talking helps - If you would like to talk to someone Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
Kids Helpline tel - 1800 55 1800
What Can you Do?
There are lots of things you can do to look after your mental health and these are even more important to do when you are feeling down.
Try to make this part of your routine:
• Eating well and exercise regularly
• Getting enough sleep and set aside some time each day to relax.
• Put time into activities and relationships that make you feel good.
• Set yourself some short term and long term goals to look forward to.
• Try to deal with problems instead of letting them build up.
• Be aware of the possible effects of alcohol and drugs on your state of mind and relationships.
These things really do make a positive difference to the way you feel and deal with the challenges of day to day life.
A few more words about sleep …………
Teenagers need between nine and ten hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is called chronic sleep deprivation and can affect a teenager’s academic and sporting performance. Most importantly it can increase the risk of emotional problems such as depression. Even 30 minutes of extra sleep each night makes a difference.