Mental Health

Mental Health

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions have placed an enormous amount of strain on people and their mental health. This may mean that for some people they are facing these struggles for the first time and for others it could mean that they are not able to manage it as well. This can be daunting and isolating but it is important to know that you are not alone and that there are services to help you. First it is important to know some facts:

  • Mental illness is common
  • In any one year 20% of Australians experience mental illness
  • Over the course of their lifetime roughly 45% of Australians will experience mental illness
  • Mental illness is not one illness but a collection of many including; depression, anxiety, Bipolar affective disorder, substance use disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia and many more
  • These can occur in isolation or together
  • Mental health affects people of all ages (including children) and walks of life
  • Having mental illness does not make you weak

If you are concerned about your mental health or that of a loved one the first step is to talk to your local GP about options that may be available. Through the use of mental health care plans individuals can access subsidized visits to see a psychologist for up to 20 visits a year. If further assistance is required then people can access specialist psychiatrist assistance through an MBS291 referral from their GP. Finally, if it is felt necessary your GP can have a discussion with you about whether medication may help with your mental health, either in the short term or long term.

If you have any questions about your mental health don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of our GPs. If you want to learn more about mental illness you can also access useful resources such as:

Posted by Dr Nicholas Byrne

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