Mental Health Week 2021

Mental Health Week is part of a national campaign that engages local communities in activities that promote mental health and wellbeing while increasing understanding and reducing stigma about mental illness.

This year Mental Health Week will be held from October 9 to 16. The theme is Awareness, Belonging, Connection:

Awareness is the understanding that we need to maintain a healthy mental wellbeing, and knowing when we need to reach out for help.

Belonging is knowing that we are not alone, and that there are others going through the same thing we are. It’s also about looking out for others and feeling safe and supported.

Connection is embracing our relationships with friends, family and loved ones as well as our social networks.

To show our support, we are joining the Mental Health Council of Tasmania to turn Tassie Orange!

Orange is a colour that represents not only warmth and inviting, but has a positive and uplifting influence on people. So please join us in wearing something orange during Mental Health Week.

 

We’re excited to be celebrating Mental Health Week for the 3rd year running.

Anglicare’s event theme is ‘Connecting with Community’ and this year we’re reflecting on the ABC’s of mental health: Awareness, Belonging and Connection.

The week will kick off with the ABC Walks for Wellness.  Participants will walk together through their local community in three locations across Tasmania. The events will culminate with barbecues at their local community centres.

Participants are encouraged to wear orange for the walk. We are also throwing out the challenge to Anglicare staff to wear orange in the office for the week.

And thank you to those with lived experience who have taken the time to be interviewed. They have shared with you their reflection on community and the importance of ‘belonging’ and ‘connection’.

 

 

Dr. Chris Jones
CEO Anglicare Tasmania

Anglicare's ABC Walks for Wellness

No matter who you are, where you live or what role you play in mental health, Anglicare's Connecting with Community event is for you.

Below you will find event details including locations and times for our ABC Walks for Wellness as well as tips for better mental health and ways to connect with community. You'll also find links to local support and service providers and social groups.

So please, come along for the walk, lunch, music, resources and possibly a touch of yoga & creativity - while connecting with others and local services. Each walk will culminate in a BBQ at a local community centre. And don’t forget to dress in orange for the day!

The ABC Walks for Wellness are brought to you by Anglicare Tas in conjunction with Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania and local community health and wellbeing organisations. For more information, please call 1800 243 232 or download the event flyer below.

ABC Walk for Wellness - Moonah

Where: Moonah Community Centre
Date: Tuesday, 12 October
Time: 1.00 to 3.30pm
View the Gallery

ABC Walk for Wellness - Launceston

Where: Northern Suburbs Community Centre
Date: Wednesday, 13 October
Time: 11.00am to 2.00pm
View the Gallery

ABC Walk for Wellness - Burnie

Where: Burnie Community Centre
Date: Wednesday, 13 October
Time: 11.00am to 2.00pm
View the Gallery

Voice from the Community

Belonging and Connection are central to a healthy mental wellbeing.

Having a sense of belonging involves more than being acquainted with other people, but rather finding acceptance and support from members of the community including family and friends.

By finding meaningful connection with others, we lower our anxiety and depression, regulate our emotions and find a higher self-esteem.

In the following video we speak with several members of the community who have lived experience with mental health issues about what belonging and connection meant to them and their recovery.

We would like to thank Mel, Persia, Ci, Jesos and Gary for their contribution to this video.

Top tips for Better Mental Health!

So why is mental health important?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

As part of Mental Health Week 2021, we want to share some important tips that can help you improve your overall mental wellbeing.

  • Importance of relaxation, rest and sleep

    It is important to prioritise adequate rest and quality sleep in your everyday life. Both are equally important to your mental, physical and emotional health. And, prioritising rest can actually improve your quality of sleep.

    Rest is any behaviour aimed at increasing physical or mental wellbeing. Rest can be active, going for a walk outside, or passive, sitting down for 10 minutes and breathing deeply.

    Regardless of how you choose to rest, these daily behaviours can help you recover and recharge from physical and mental effort.

    Sleep is an essential function of the body and impacts every system from our cognitive function to immune health. Sleep is absolutely vital to brain function, memory, concentration, immune health and metabolism.

    Unlike rest, sleep is something that your body cannot function without.

    Rest and relaxation tips

    If left untreated, long-term stress can cause chest pain, headaches, digestive issues, anxiety, depression and inability to focus.

    So how can you prioritise rest? First you need to start by finding a relaxation technique that works for you. This could be meditating, practising yoga, walking outside, listening to music or taking a bath. No matter what you choose, it’s important to find a consistent time to rest. You could take a relaxing bath before bed or go for a short walk during your lunch break.

    In addition to daily rest and relaxation, it’s recommended that we get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. So how can you ensure you get quality sleep each night?  Here are a few tips:

    • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
    • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
    • Set your thermostat between 15 and 21 degrees at night.
    • Avoid napping during the day.
    • At least one hour before bed, swap screen time for a relaxing activity such as reading, bedtime yoga or a relaxing bath.
    • Exercise is important, but avoid working out late in the day, if possible.

    Credit: Integris Health

  • Relationships and your mood

    Healthy relationships are important for your mental health. When you spend time with people you care about, this can help you feel connected and supported. And yet, we know relationships aren’t always easy.

    Starting new relationships can often be scary. And for anyone experiencing mental health difficulties, reaching out may not feel like an option. But here’s the thing – the more you work on your relationships, the stronger they get.

    Strong relationships can give you support when you need it and provide a sense of belonging and community. And when you spend time connecting with and supporting others, your wellbeing can improve too.

    Working on your relationships can:

    • boosts your energy
    • improves your sense of belonging
    • helps you relax
    • helps you feel supported, including at workplaces, school or uni.

     

    Here are a few tips from the headspace team for navigating relationships.

    • Focus on positive relationships that make you feel good about yourself. Those where you support each other and where you feel you can be yourself.
    • Every relationship can bring you different benefits. Try to keep a variety of people in your life, such as friends from work or school, teachers, parents, and people who have similar interests.
    • Communication is important. When you are open with people, they will be more open with you – which strengthens your relationships.
    • Understand that socialising and keeping relationships can sometimes be hard and have challenges. Occasionally you may feel left out or not all agree. Just remember, it’s normal to feel this way sometimes.
    • Your relationship with yourself is an important relationship too. And, when you look after yourself, it can teach you how to look after others as well.

    Credit: headspace

  • Exercising for your mental health

    We get it – when you’re feeling stressed or low you probably feel more like watching Netflix than being active. But it’s often when you least feel like it that you most need it.

    You may know that exercise is good for your physical health, but it also improves your wellbeing, too.

    Exercising doesn’t have to be running on the treadmill. It’s anything that gets your body moving. Activities like walking, yoga, or swimming will all help you release stress and give you a better chance of improving your mood.

    Staying active can help you:

    • sleep better
    • improve your concentration
    • raise your energy levels
    • improve your confidence
    • boost your mood
    • release stress
    • lower anxiety.

     

    Here are a few tips from the headspace team for staying active.

    • Start small. If you start by setting small goals you will be more likely to do them and this will help you feel more motivated.
    • Keep track. Track your progress and the benefits after you exercise. This will help you see connections between how moving more helps you feel better.
    • Do what you enjoy. Whether you enjoy lifting weights or swimming at the beach, it will be a lot easier to stick to it if you’re having fun!
    • Make the time (even when you’re busy). When you’re busy and stressed, staying active can be the first thing you stop. But being active during busy times will actually help you through tough periods.
    • Set a routine. Plan ahead and make physical activity a part of your routine. Things like having your workout gear ready the night before and setting an alarm can help you stick to your goals.

    Credit: headspace

  • Self-Care

    Taking care of yourself is the most important part of managing your mental health and wellbeing.

    Self-care refers to activities that help maintain your physical, emotional and mental health. It is also a commitment to look after yourself to protect your health during periods of stress.

    There are many forms self-care may take. It could be ensuring you get enough sleep every night to stepping outside for a few minutes for some fresh air.

    Self-care is important for building resilience toward those stressors in life that you can’t stop. When you’ve taken steps to care for your mind and body, you’ll be better equipped to live your best life.

    There are 5 types of self-care:

    • Physical – how well you take care of your body through food, sleep, physical activity and health.
    • Social – how well you cultivate and maintain relationships and close connections.
    • Mental – practising self-compassion and acceptance to maintain a healthier inner dialogue.
    • Spiritual – developing a deeper sense of meaning, understanding or connection with the universe.
    • Emotional – acknowledging and expressing your feelings on a regular basis.

     

    Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Developing a self-care plan that fits your needs and life is important. When you discover that you’re neglecting a certain aspect of your life, create a plan for change.

    You don’t have to tackle everything all at once. Identify one small step you can take to begin caring for yourself better.

    Then, schedule time to focus on your needs. Even when you feel like you don’t have time to squeeze in one more thing, make self-care a priority.

     

    Common myths about self-care.

    Myth: Self-care is an indulgence
    Fact: Meaningful self-care includes making mindful changes in patterns of thoughts and behaviours that do not contribute to your wellbeing.

    Myth: Self-care is selfish
    Fact: When you make time for yourself and get sufficient rest and exercise, you feel more energetic and will be able to do more – for yourself as well as those around you.

    Myth: Self-care is a one-time experience
    Fact: Looking after yourself is an ongoing practice in building resilience to face hardships and in preventing burnout.

    Myth: Self-care is time consuming
    Fact: Self-care does not require you to take out a huge chunk of time from your busy day.

    Credit: verywell mind

Quiz Time

Positive mental health is an important thing to have in our lives. There’s a lot we can do to promote positive mental health and improve our overall wellbeing, beginning with an understanding of what it means to have positive mental health.

These quizzes are just for you, so don’t worry – your results are completely private. No one but you has access to your results, so be honest and don’t hold back.

Each Quiz should take you around five minutes to complete, so set aside some time to focus and give this quiz your full attention, if you can.

Please note: Our quizzes are not meant to diagnose, but rather to help you understand more about mental health and wellbeing.

 

 

 

Take the STRESS Quiz now
Take the MENTAL HEALTH Quiz now
Take the FACT or MYTH MENTAL HEALTH Quiz now

Anglicare's Mental Health Services

Mental health is for everyone

We all have to face challenges in life. People who have good mental health are more likely to be able to cope with the ups and downs. Our mental health is made up of our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. This means it affects how we feel, think and behave each day. Our mental health also contributes to our decision-making process, how we cope with stress and how we relate to others in our lives.

Anglicare has a number of services to support people who are affected by mental health issues.
Find out more

Recovery Program

If you’re recovering from a diagnosed mental health condition, the Recovery Program can help you with one-to-one support. We know everyone’s recovery journey is different, so the support provided is flexible to suit your individual needs.

The Recovery program is for people 16+ living with mental health challenges who live in independent accommodation.

For more information about the Recovery Program, please call us on 1800 243 232.

Recovery is offered in the South and North of Tasmania. It is currently not available in the North West.

Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS)

CYMHS provides free outreach support for families with children and young people (0-18) who are showing early signs of or at risk of developing mental illness.

Our counsellors can provide brief interventions, intensive long-term support and community education.

CYMHS has a primary focus on children and young people while working with them in a whole of family context.

For more information about CYMHS, please call us on 1800 243 232.

Child and youth mental health service (CYMHS) flyer

Attempted Suicide Aftercare Program (ASAP)

Our Attempted Suicide Aftercare Program can provide support to understand what led to a suicide attempt and develop ways to keep yourself safe when things feel overwhelming.

ASAP is for people aged 15+ who have attempted suicide, self-harm or have suicide ideation. This is a free, statewide service.

ASAP is also for friends and family who are supporting someone who has attempted suicide.

For more information about ASAP, please call us on 1800 243 232.

ASAP Family Resource Booklet

Mental Health Resources

Correct mental health information can be difficult to find and navigate. But support can be found in many places, including the resources below.

Learning about mental health, either for yourself or others, is a great way to ensure that you’re informed, ready and able to #checkin with friends and colleagues around their mental health.

  • Project Positive (Blog)

    Project Positive began as a project that three girls, Grace, Mikayla & Taylah, decided to start to boost the self-confidence and self-esteem of peers, prevent negativity and encourage positivity and ‘feeling good.’

    The Project Positive blog is a place where teens can confidently and anonymously open up about their feelings or problems, get some advice, share a secret or confess something, or just talk to someone and/or have somebody there for them.

     

  • myCompass (Self-help Tool)

    myCompass is a free online self-help program for people with mild to moderate depression, anxiety and stress. It’s also appropriate for people who simply want to build good mental health.

    Its core features include fourteen different interactive learning activities and mood tracking feature to help users better understand themselves and learn strategies to improve their mental health.

    How does it work?
    myCompass offers a personalised experience and can recommend learning activities that best match the individual’s needs. Alternatively, you can select learning activities that most interest you.

    The myCompass mood tracking feature allows users to track their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and provides graphical feedback to help them recognise unhelpful patterns and possible triggers.

    The learning activities deliver proven psychological techniques used by doctors and psychologists such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

    Who’s it for?
    myCompass is for people who:

    • would like to improve their mental health
    • have depressive, anxious and/or stress symptoms in the mild-to-moderate range
    • are aged 18 and above
    • read English with ease.

    Visit the Black Dog Institutes website at blackdoginstitute.org.au to find out more.
    To get started using myCompass, visit mycompass.org.au.

  • The Recovery Hub (Self-help Tools)

    The Recovery Hub is an online self-help tool to provide self-guided programs to assist people to develop skills and broaden their knowledge base to improve health and wellbeing.

    There are a range of programs providing online support for many of life’s challenges such as:

    • Planning a healthy lifestyle
    • Building hope and self-esteem
    • Feeling down
    • Feeling worried or stressed
    • Money problems
    • Family, friends, relationships
    • Managing emotional health & wellbeing
    • Kicking Drugs &/or Alcohol
    • Kicking Gambling
    • Quit smoking

     

    Visit the Research Hub website at www.recovery.awh.org.au.

  • Head to Health (Community links)

    If you’re trying to improve your own mental health, or support somebody else with mental health issues, Head to Health provides links to trusted Australian online and phone supports, resources and treatment options.

    Being part of a community can have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing. Community involvement provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness. It can also offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life.

    Communities can exist or be created from a shared location, hobbies, lived experiences and backgrounds, or a common cause. For many people, communicating with others – through online forums, social media, or in person – can help them to have a healthier mindset, improved self-worth, and greater enjoyment of life.

    Visit the Head to Health website at www.headtohealth.gov.au.

  • QLife (Resources for LGBTIQ+)

    The QLife website provides information and resources for LGBTI individuals and their friends and family.

    One of these resources is Qlife’s referral database – a place where you can find a range of services and information throughout Australia, to help LGBTI people of all ages from crisis support, to event, festivals, health, mental health, sexual health, legal and so much more.

    QLife’s website also provides information and links to phone and web chat support service. Web chat is available from 3.00pm to 12.00am.

    To contact QLife, call 1800 184 527 or visit their website at qlife.org.au.

  • Smiling Mind (Mindfulness App)

    Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgement. The Smiling Mind app is a great resource to learn about mindfulness and meditation in plain English.

    The Smiling Mind website features ways to:

    • Reduce worries, anxiety and distress
    • Create a sense of calm
    • Learn how to relax and regulate emotions
    • Improve concentration and increased productivity
    • Develop a sense of empathy and connectedness
    • Enjoy better health and sleep.

     

    Visit the Smiling Mind website at www.smilingmind.com.au.

  • Mindful.org (Online Magazine)

    Get started with Mindfulness. If you have questions about mindfulness and meditation, Mindful.org has the answers.

    So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

    There’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodelling the physical structure of your brain.

    The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.

    What is meditation? Meditation is exploring. It’s not a fixed destination. Your head doesn’t become vacuumed free of thought, utterly undistracted. It’s a special place where each and every moment is momentous. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: our sensations, our emotions and thoughts.

    So how do you practice mindfulness and meditation? Mindful meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.

    To find out more about mindfulness and meditation, visit the Mindful.org website at www.mindful.org.

  • Yoga (Exercise)

    In Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

    Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise, originating in ancient India. Ita can also be a fantastic way to stretch and destress your body. There is evidence to suggest that yoga is a potent anti-depressant that matches with drugs.

     

    The benefits of yoga include:

    • Yoga improves joint and muscular flexibility, which is imperative for the body’s overall health. Enhanced joint and muscle suppleness translates to greater range of motion, which in turn, decreases the chance of an overuse injury.
    • It increases endurance, strength, and flexibility.
    • Yoga teaches deep, mindful breathing, self-awareness, meditation and connecting with our bodies, all of which are helpful tools for promoting mental/emotional well-being.
    • Mental endurance and physical stamina are tested through holding postures for extended breaths.
    • No matter what ails your aching body, or if you just want to take your fitness to a higher level, power yoga’s ability to build muscle has an undeniable effect on the total body.

     

    Take a load off with this 12-minute relaxing yoga session created to help you wind down, love and honor your body. Perfect practice for after work or to help you get ready for bed.

  • Stop, Breathe and Think (Meditation App)

    Part of the ReachOut Service, the Stop, Breathe and Think App is designed to help you be more mindful and compassionate using a meditation guide.

    You can check in daily, track your progress, and feel more calm.

    Visit the MyLife website at my.life to find direct download links to the Apple App Store and Google Play.

  • Relax Melodies (Sleep App)

    Having trouble unwinding & falling asleep? We get you, and we’ve got you. Sleep to your own beat with Relax Melodies.

    Stress less. Sleep better. Rich soundscapes, bedtime stories, and meditations that really work.

    Visit the Relax Melodies website at www.relaxmelodies.com to find direct download links to the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Local Community Service and Support Groups

The below organisations offer support across multiple areas including mental health, alcohol and drug issues, domestic violence and more. Check out how these local community services providers can further your mental health knowledge, assist in times of crisis and provide support to ensure we all experience a fullness of life.

North West

Find local North West community service providers, support groups and statewide support services. Find out more

North

Find local Northern community service providers, support groups and statewide support services. Find out more

South

Find local Southern community service providers, support groups and statewide support services. Find out more

Sign up for Anglicare's Community Advice Newsletter

Each edition is filled with what we hope will be useful information and tips perfect for sharing with the wider community. Every article has been put together and selected by our amazing team of counsellors. And don’t worry, we'll try not to clutter up your inbox, this newsletter is scheduled to only be sent out quarterly.