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Mental Health Month - Raising Mental Health Awareness

Tanvir Bedi from Mind Australia Source: Supplied

In this conversation, we speak to Mental Health Practitioner Tanvir Bedi from Mind Australia. Tanvir has eight years hands-on experience in addressing mental health issues. Preetinder Singh Grewal reports...

Mental Health Month raises community awareness about mental health issues and is held every October each year.

The aim of Mental Health Month is to promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community, encouraging people to maximise their health potential, enhancing the coping capacity of communities, families, individuals and increasing mental health recovery.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental health is the state of well-being in which every individual with their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to their community.

About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most of us will experience a mental health problem at some time in our lives.

It’s important to remember that mental health is complex. The fact that someone is not experiencing a mental health condition doesn’t necessarily mean their mental health is flourishing. Likewise, it’s possible to be diagnosed with a mental health condition while feeling well in many aspects of life.

Ultimately, mental health is about being cognitively, emotionally and socially healthy – the way we think, feel and develop relationships - and not merely the absence of a mental health condition.

However, if you feel that you may be affected by depression or anxiety, remember they are treatable conditions and effective treatments are available. The earlier you seek support, the better.

Getting help on the phone or online

If you’re not comfortable meeting face to face or need immediate assistance, you can get on the phone or online.

Beyondblue has a 24/7 helpline that you can call at 1300 22 4636 and a chat service available from 3 PM to 12 AM, 7 days a week. You can also email them (and get a reply within 24 hours).

For urgent help, Lifeline has a 24/7 helpline at 13 11 14 and a chat service from 7 PM to 4 AM. You can also get in touch with the Suicide Call Back Service.

MindSpot offers online screening assessments and free treatment courses.

The Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 is for children, teenagers and young adults aged between 5 and 25.

Interpreting services

If you need language support, call TIS National on 131 450 first, then ask for the organisation you’d like to contact. You can also use TIS to book an interpreter for your visit to the GP and psychologist.

Having a mental illness and asking for helping is nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re not feeling well, it’s important that you talk to a doctor, a mental health organization or somebody you trust. 

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