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Mental health resources for young adults

4-minute read

Feeling stressed? Is something getting you down? Many young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years struggle with mental health issues — about their home life, work or study, money or relationships.

If you’re worried about your mental health, it’s best not to ignore the problem. Like a physical illness, a mental health issue can be treated, and the sooner you get help, the better.

What is mental health and why is it important?

The term ‘mental health’ refers to your state of mind. If your mental health is fine, you tend to feel confident and are able to deal with life and its challenges. On the other hand, if your mental health is not so good, life can seem a lot harder than it should be.

Good mental health is important. This is not just so you can get through the day, but so you can build positive relationships with others, and enjoy and appreciate life.

Many people experience a mental health issue at some point in their life. But if things don't seem to get better, it could be a sign of a mental illness.

Mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders and eating disorders, have a big impact on how you think, feel and behave, and can make it difficult to cope with day-to-day life.

Just like other illnesses, mental illnesses need to be managed or treated to get better. So, if you think you could have a mental health issue, maybe you should consider getting help (see ‘Where to get help’ below).

Young adults and common mental health issues

Mental health issues are common. For example, at some point you may:

If you're having a tough time with these, or any other issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean your mental health is in danger. But it’s worth talking to someone to get some advice.

If you find yourself thinking about self-harm or suicide, it’s definitely time to get help — see ‘Where to get help’ below.

How can I improve my mental health and wellbeing?

There are lots of things you can do to get yourself into a better head space and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Here are a few suggestions:

  • learn more about your issue, and what can be done about it
  • talk to your friends and family
  • eat well and get enough sleep
  • get some regular exercise
  • make time to relax and have some fun
  • if you're using drugs or alcohol, cut down or stop

Where to get help

If you need someone to talk to, or want to find out more, these organisations can help you:

  • (youth mental health service) — online help
  • headspace (ages 12-25) — call 1800 650 890
  • Kids Helpline (ages 5-25) — call 1800 55 1800
  • Lifeline — call 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service (all ages) — call 1300 659 467
  • 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)

You can also ask your doctor or a mental health professional for advice, either for yourself or if you are caring for a young adult with mental health issues.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: April 2020

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