Good mental health increases your enjoyment and appreciation of all aspects of life, and improves your ability to cope with life’s challenges.
Looking after your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health. Many people are affected by a mental health issue, and seeking help and support is vital.
Mental health refers to your sense of wellbeing and your ability to function both intellectually and emotionally in a positive way. It means being able to form positive relationships, reaching your potential and dealing with life’s challenges.
A number of factors can negatively affect your mental health, including:
- alcohol or drug abuse
- how you think, such as having constant negative thoughts and low self-esteem
- biological factors, such as genetics, hormones and chemistry
- social factors, such as financial stress, family or relationship issues, or feeling isolated
Ways to support and maintain good mental health include:
- exercising regularly
- eating a healthy diet
- socialising with friends and family
- looking for help when you need it
There are also online resources that can provide more tips for good mental health.
It’s very important to seek help and support for mental health issues. They are real health concerns, and are common, so you are not alone. There is a lot of support available for people who are having a hard time.
Where to get help
If you are interested in seeking some advice about your mental health, a good first step may be to see your doctor, a psychologist or a counsellor. There are also many excellent organisations you can contact for help.
If you are having a personal crisis:
- Lifeline (anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online
- Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467
If you want general mental health support and information:
- This Way Up Clinic (anyone with stress, anxiety and depression) - online courses
- MindSpot Clinic (people with anxiety and depression) – call 1800 61 44 34 or complete an online screening assessment
- Relationships Australia (relationship support services) – call 1300 364 277
- beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online
- Black Dog Institute (anyone affected by mood disorders) – online help
- SANE Australia (people living with a mental illness) – call 1800 18 7263 or chat online
- Head to Health - (for advice, assessment and referral into local mental health services) - call 1800 595 212 from 8:30am to 5pm on weekdays (public holidays excluded)
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Last reviewed: April 2020