Making high quality mental healthcare accessible for everyone

The importance of mental health awareness

If someone asks you what you need to do to stay healthy, what would you say? You might mention a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking, for example.

Those are definitely great ways to take care of your physical health. But what about your mental health? How do you take care of that?

If you’re like most people, you know far less about taking care of your mental health than your physical health. It’s time to change that.

What is mental health awareness?

Mental health awareness means understanding how to support good mental health, how to spot the signs of mental health difficulties and how to get help.

What is good mental health?

Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which you can realise your potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to your community.

It means you’re feeling good and functioning well. You’re not plagued by self-doubt, fear or negativity. You have healthy self-esteem, have a good level of self-confidence, and feel optimistic about the future. When obstacles cross your path, you have the resilience you need to overcome them.

Telltale signs of mental health difficulties

Mental health disorders affect your thinking, mood or behaviour. While we all have bad days from time to time, we become concerned about mental health when it causes frequent stress and affects someone’s ability to function.

A mental health condition like depression or anxiety can cause symptoms such as:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Confused thinking
  • Poor concentration
  • Overwhelming worries or fears
  • Mood swings
  • Poor performance at work or school
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Inability to handle the everyday stresses of life
  • Reliance on alcohol or other drugs
  • Changed eating habits
  • An increase or decrease in sex drive
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Physical symptoms such as stomach aches, back pain, headaches or other aches and pains.

If you or a loved one is showing such symptoms, then we encourage you to seek help. Start with your GP or, if that’s too scary, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact Beyond Blue.

Supporting good mental health

So what supports good mental health? It’s things like:

  • Strong relationships – invest in the people you care about so you build a strong network of friends and family
  • Exercise – moving your body releases endorphins that boost your mood
  • Diet – a healthy diet gives your body the nutrition it needs, helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of some chronic diseases
  • Sleep – a good sleep routine refreshes your body and mind and gives you the energy you need for the day ahead
  • Cutting back on alcohol –  you may think alcohol helps ease stress but it actually worsens anxiety and depression
  • Contributing to others – use your talents and strengths to help others in one way or another
  • Find a pastime you love – whether it’s sport, art, sailing or rollerblading, find something that makes you feel alive and spend time doing it regularly
  • Spending time in nature – it can make you feel calmer and more joyful, so go for a bushwalk, picnic in the park or walk barefoot on the beach
  • Nurture your spirituality – some people find it helpful to belong to a faith community, pray, meditate or feel connected to a bigger picture.

Useful steps to prioritise your mental health

Just like physical health, mental health can’t be taken for granted. It involves a series of wise, healthy choices around diet, exercise, relationships and creating a meaningful, engaged life.

The other important step is to get help if you need it. There are evidence-based treatments for many mental health conditions. Your GP can develop a mental health care plan that enables you to access Medicare-subsidised psychology support.

How The Talk Shop can help

At The Talk Shop, our goal is to make high-quality, affordable mental health care accessible to everyone. We’re here to help you overcome mental health challenges, build resilience and move forward with your life.

Book an appointment.


All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion.