Mental Health Week

Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well-being and affects our thinking, mood and behaviour. Mental health issues are common, one in five Australians are affected. A range of factors can contribute to mental health issues including: biological factors (genes or brain chemistry), life experiences (trauma or abuse), family history of mental health issues.

Aim of Mental Health Day & Week

World Mental Health Day is Wednesday 10 October 2018 - 10/10 - and Australian Mental Health Week is 7 - 13 October 2018. The aim of these events is to educate, promote awareness and understanding and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, allowing those in need to seek mental health services.

Good mental health allows us to work productively, make meaningful contributions to our community, realise our full potential and allows us to cope with the stresses of life.

Keeping Mentally Healthy

There are many different ways we can keep mentally healthy. We can ensure that our routines incorporate; getting enough sleep, spending time on your own, exercising, eating healthy, relaxation time (however you personally relax), connecting with others, setting realistic goals for ourselves and developing coping skills. However, there are times when we may need help to achieve positive mental health, or when despite taking good care of your mental health it may still not be enough and we need to seek help.

Mental Health Practitioners

It can be difficult to understand the different ways in which you can seek help in improving your mental health. Between councillors, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists, how can you choose?

The Glenferrie Times spoke with Karen Vogel from Headspace Hawthorn who explained the different types of mental health practitioners that can help you.

The first line of action when seeking help or support can often be a counsellor. Karen explains, counsellors are "skilled in applying integrated therapies, help clients to understand and cope with difficult issues and develop solutions." These are usually brief and early interventions. Often times counsellors are available through work or school and free of charge.

Psychologists are "skilled to use evidence based strategies to treat mental illness," says Karen. They do this by observing, discussing, interpreting and recording individuals experiences, thoughts and behaviours. The outcome of seeing a psychologist is to increase learning and skills in human emotion, behaviour and mental process. A GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician can provide a referral to a psycologist and for up to ten sessions per year you can claim a Medicare rebate.

Karen goes on to describe that, psychiatrists are medical doctors who "treat complex and serious mental illness, often medically by prescribing medication" and are able to "diagnose and treat mental illness."

Psychotherapists are for a "long term treatment which focuses on long standing attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and behaviours that may be affecting the quality of a persons life" and is often "more in depth and intense."

Local Mental Health Resources

Helpfully, Glenferrie Hawthorn is well-equipped with mental health resources. The first port of call for many is BeyondBlue, who help to raise awareness and understanding for depression and anxiety and provide a 24/7 helpline 1300 22 4636. BeyondBlue was founded and previously chaired by former Victorian Premier The Hon Jeff Kennett AC and its headquarters are located right here at 290 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.

Also available in the area is Headspace Hawthorn, which aims to support the mental health of young people aged 12-25, located at level 1 of Hawthorn Arts Centre, 03 9006 6500. Access: Health & Community (image below), located 378 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 03 9810 3000, offers counselling, psychologists, alcohol and drug services and more. All of these resources are low cost or no cost.

Another option is Keriva Counsellors located at St. Columbs Anglican Church 448 Burwood Road, Hawthorn who offer counselling and support to all, regardless of faith or lifestyle. They do not turn anyone away based on financial grounds and fees are set on a sliding scale to accommodate everyone. Other points of support and help include New View Psychology, Hawthorn Counselling and Psychotherapy and Leanne Butler Clinical Psychologist.

Hawthorn Community House will be celebrating Mental Health Week on Friday 12 October, 5-8pm, with Bands & Burgers in the park. A free event including food from Resistance Bar & Cafe, live music, jumping castle, face painting and more at 32 Henry Street, Hawthorn next to Central Gardens (aka Rocket Park).

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