Understanding mental health
Learn about the importance of positive mental health and what you can do to achieve it.
Maintaining positive mental health
Mental health is an important part of our overall wellbeing.
Mental health is dynamic and exists on a continuum, ranging from healthy or normal functioning to ill health.
Positive mental health can be achieved through self-care. Some tips include:
- Learn how to manage stress
- Take time out for yourself
- Eat nutritious meals
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid alcohol and drugs
- Surround yourself with supportive family and friends
- Quiet your mind through mindfulness
- Set realistic goals
- Get help when you need it
Having a conversation with someone about their declining mental health can help the person feel supported. The following steps provide a framework you can use to connect with someone who might be struggling and requiring support.
- Look out for changes in the way we think, feel, do or say.
- Look out for uncharacteristic changes and/or concerning behaviours in others.
- Common signs may include: withdrawing, low motivation, absent from work, hyper-vigilance, high emotion.
- Remember that everyone is different and each situation is unique.
- Respond supportively.
- Begin with an observation about the changed behaviour and engage in an opening conversation by asking, ‘How are you doing?’
- Actively listen and clarify with questions.
- Connect others with support or services.
- List the options available to them (e.g. EAP, GP, Beyond Blue, Men’s Line).
- Ask for what they need, what might be helpful and who would they be comfortable contacting.
- Ensure that you have follow-up conversations.
- Check in with the person again a few days after.