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Here’s how to identify early signs of mental health issues

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Mental health is a key component of overall health and well-being. People with mental illnesses are more likely to develop physical illnesses. In Australia, people can access a range of mental health services, but it’s important to identify the signs of mental health issues and seek help.

Each year, one in five Australians experience mental health issues, and it is estimated that 45 per cent of all Australians may experience a mental illness at some point in their lives.

Psychologist and professor of psychology at Macquarie University, Maria Kangas, says the two most common mental health disorders affecting Australians and people around the world are depression and anxiety.

"With depression, the warning signs are: no longer finding pleasure in activities people have previously enjoyed doing, including their hobbies, no longer looking forward to socialising with people — although in the year of COVID that has become a little bit difficult as well because of restrictions, noticing changes in sleep patterns and in concentration; finding oneself more irritable, more upset, more defensive, more sensitive to comments by others, maybe easily teary. So there can be a whole constellation of symptoms and it doesn't mean you have to have all of them."

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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