Good Mental Health Affects Every Aspect of our Lives
Queensland Mental Health Week (QMHW) is an annual awareness initiative that aims to promote individual and community mental health and wellbeing, boost awareness of mental illness, reduce stigma and discrimination, and celebrate the contribution of the mental health and community sectors.
QMHW takes place in the week of World Mental Health Day on 10 October. In 2022, the week will be celebrated from Saturday 8 October to Sunday 16 October. The theme for 2022 if 'Awareness, Belonging, Connection', reflecting the important factors that help people maintain positive mental health and wellbeing. It is all about connecting with the people in our lives and creating space for conversations about mental health and wellbeing.
Throughout QMHW hundreds of local and regional events are held by non-government organisations, service providers, local councils, workplaces, schools and universities, sporting groups and clubs, community groups and individuals.
Good mental health affects every aspect of our lives. It is widely accepted that there is no health without mental health. Good mental health not only enables individuals to enjoy meaningful and productive lives, it also benefits communities. The benefits are felt across generations.
‘Mental health’ is often used as a substitute for mental health conditions – such as depression, anxiety conditions, schizophrenia, and others. But, everyone with a brain has mental health, just as everyone with a body has physical health.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to their community.
It's important to know that everyone’s mental health varies during their life and can move back and forth along their own personal range between positive and healthy at one end through to severe symptoms or conditions that impact on everyday life at the other, in response to different stressors and experiences
Mental illness is common and affects all Australians either directly or indirectly. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022), almost half (45%) of the population aged 16–85 will experience a mental illness at some time in their life.
Mental illness can vary in severity and be episodic or persistent in nature. One in 5 Australians experience mental illness in any given year, most of which will be mild (15% or an estimated 2.3 million Australians among the 15.3 million Australians) or moderate (7%, or an estimated 1.2 million people). It is estimated that around 5% or 800,000 people have a severe mental illness, of which 500,000 people have episodic mental illness and 300,000 have persistent mental illness (Productivity Commission, 2020).
Taking some ‘me time’ is important. And it also helps strengthen your mental wellbeing.
Your mental wellbeing is the unique way that you handle your emotions, respond to stress and also your general outlook on life. Having a healthy sense of mental wellbeing has many benefits. It lifts your mood, promotes resilience in difficult situations and helps you get the most out of life. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how you’re feeling – taking a few moments for yourself each day will help you be a happier and more resilient you.
Whether you love listening to Podcasts, reading, or doing a short course, there are resources available to strengthen your mental wellbeing, check out this website for tips and inspiration.
How can you improve your mental Wellbeing?
Being active for 30 minutes each day improves your physical health. The same goes for your mental health. By taking just a few minutes to focus on mental wellbeing activities each day, you’ll see big improvements.
It only takes a few small actions, practiced every day, to find a happier you. We loved the idea of building your very own personal mental wellbeing activity deck. Dancing (which we all love), going barefoot on the grass (we know is very grounding), and connecting with friends in beautiful ways, are just a few ways we can all make small changes in our daily routine.
Consider adding massage into your self-care routine. Understanding the positive influence that massage can have on oneself can include improvement in anxiety, mood, and pain; where increased frequency can positivity affect more enduring variables.
Stephanies is a beautiful way to connect and create a social space with friends, family, or even a colleague. Carefully curated spa experiences create a safe and nurturing experience designed to promote wellness, support quality of sleep, enhance self-image and induces mental relaxation.
Research shows there are six actions we can take to improve our moods, build resilience, and boost our mental wellbeing. The below building blocks of wellbeing are from the Queensland Government’s Dear Mind initiative
Get Healthy— being active and eating well is good for your mind and bod
Keep Learning — learning new things can be fun and boost confidence
Show Kindness — practising small acts of kindness, volunteering time, or simply helping a friend can help you feel more satisfied with life
Connect — spending time with other people is important to everyone’s mental wellbeing and can be done while carefully observing social distancing
Take Notice — paying more attention to the present and the world around you can help you relieve stress and enjoy the moment
Embrace Nature — connecting with the outdoors and taking care of the planet is the best recipe for world wellbeing.
We encourage you to seek support if you’re not feeling 100%. There are many organisations and service out there to help you.
From time to time, we all feel sad or worried, especially when life gets tough. Sometimes, you might need some help to feel better again. If you’re struggling with your mental health, support is available.
For 24/7 Counselling or Support;
• Lifeline – 13 11 14 • Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467 • Kids Help Line – 1800 55 1800 • Alcohol & Drug Info Services (ADIS) – 1800 177 833 • Queensland Health — 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
These numbers are either free or the cost of a local call.