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Being Well community forum 2016


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Presentation by Hunter institute of Mental Health Director Jaelea Skehan for Being Well forum held Tuesday 9th August at Belmont 16 Foot Sailing Club

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Being Well community forum 2016

  1. 1. Being Well: Why is being mentally healthy important? Jaelea Skehan Director, Hunter Institute of Mental Health
  2. 2. The Hunter Institute of Mental Health is a leading national organisation dedicated to reducing mental illness and suicide and improving wellbeing for all Australians. We have worked from our base in Newcastle, NSW for 24 years.
  3. 3. What is mental health and what does it mean to you?
  4. 4. State of wellbeing, where we can realise our potential, cope with normal stressors, live and work fruitfully, and make a contribution to society More than the absence of illness Relevant to every one of us.
  5. 5. Which of these is most likely to ‘bounce’ or ‘bounce back’?
  6. 6. What if this was the surface they were bouncing off?
  7. 7. So mental health and resilience can be built in the individual, but the environment is also important. Our family, workplace, school and broader community environment matter.
  8. 8. An analogy: How did I become an expert in keeping my car running well? My first car – a Datsun 120Y.
  9. 9. Things a car needs to run well…
  10. 10. Tips for Being Well • Sleep and rest • Take time out • Be active and eat well • Connect with others • Get involved • Build confidence • Accept yourself and others • Set realistic goals • Reach out for help when you need it • Learn to manage stress.
  11. 11. Tips for managing stress…
  12. 12. 1. Give yourself permission to struggle... ....but also have struggle free zones of your life.
  13. 13. 2. Keep things in perspective Focus on what you can change and use your values to help you make decisions.
  14. 14. 3. Know your stress busters... and USE them •Exercise e.g. walk, swim, ride •Relaxation e.g. yoga, tai chi •Sleep e.g. getting a good night sleep Physical •Have someone you can talk to about what is happening •Have people you can spend time with where you don’t talk about what is happening •Spend time with people you like Social •Positive sensory experiences e.g. bath, massage, music •Having a way of expressing feelings e.g. journal, art, talking •Having a way of making sense of what is happening for you e.g. counselling, church, advocacy Emotions •Proactive problem solving e.g. write a list; action what you can •Looking for what you have learnt from the situation and the new opportunities •Spending time thinking/ doing something you enjoy Cognitive
  15. 15. 4. Stay in the moment • Often stress is because of worry about what might happen or because of focusing on things that have already happened. • It can be helpful to bring yourself back to this moment. Even for short periods of time: – (e.g. 1 minute), focus on your breathing, what you can see, hear, smell. Then bring yourself back to what you need to do.
  16. 16. 5. Reach OUT! Be OK with asking for help - it might be asking for practical assistance or moral support… ….and do it early and don’t wait until you hit crisis point.
  17. 17. What would you do if you were worried something wasn’t quite right with the car?
  18. 18. What would you do if you were worried about a friend or family member’s car?
  19. 19. How can you assist a family, friend or colleague?  Spend time talking about their experiences  Indicate you have noticed changes in behaviour  Let them know you will listen without judgement  Assist them to access help for their symptoms  Talk openly about mental illness  Encourage exercise, a healthy diet and involvement  Assist them to find further information or connect with other supports.
  20. 20. What people DON’T need Ø Being told to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘cheer up’ Ø People avoiding them Ø Assuming the problem will go away on its own Ø Stigma.
  21. 21. If mental illness affects 1 in 5 of us directly each year, how many more of us are indirectly affected as family, friends, colleagues?
  22. 22. Things people who care for someone need:  Better information  Awareness of the personal and emotional impact of caring  Tips for managing responsibilities  Coping and self-care strategies  Advice on how to nurture their relationships  Understanding from other family, friends and colleagues  Awareness of services they can access  Hope for the future.
  23. 23. Supports and services • GP • EAP service • Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 • Lifeline - 13 11 14 • beyondblue - 1300 651 251 • MensLine - 1300 78 99 78