Mental health is our ability to think, feel and behave in a way that helps us to perform at our best – in our personal lives with family and friends, at university, at work and in the community.
Mental health issues or illness can come in many different forms and can affect people from all ages, all walks of life, and in all countries.
We all experience some level of stress or anxiety at different times in our lives in response to challenging and stressful situations. In small doses, it can help keep us energised and usually subsides once the stressful situation has passed.
Sometimes, however, these feelings don’t pass or can occur for a prolonged amount of time or at a level that is excessive considering the situation. This can have a considerable impact on our lives, disrupting study, work and even relationships.
Signs and symptoms of anxiety can include:
Learn more about anxiety and hear people sharing their stories at Beyond Blue.
You can access information on anxiety in other languages at Wayahead's Understanding Anxiety website.
Learning to manage anxiety can improve your life in many ways. You can become less reactive to the inevitable stressors of life as they arise, feel calmer, and improve your general sense of wellbeing.
Our top 10 tips:
It is common to feel down or sad at times. If you have had to cope with a stressful event, lost someone you love or something that was very important to you, life may lose some of its meaning, at least for a short while. This usually passes, but for some people these feelings of sadness can last longer, become more intense or interfere with normal activities, becoming a more significant mental health problem referred to as ‘depression’.
Depression can involve a range of symptoms, including:
If you’re concerned about the symptoms you’re experiencing and feel you may be suffering from depression, talk to one of our counsellors or see a GP. Both can provide assessment and referral to resources that might help you.
There are many things that have been shown to help people with depression, including medicine and counselling, complementary therapies, and physical activity.
There are also certain things you can do to adjust your behavioural patterns such as:
Read our self-help resource on understanding depression (pdf, 89KB).
If you are having thoughts of suicide or of harming yourself, we strongly advise that you speak with a counsellor or your GP as soon as possible.