Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Mental Health?

Mental health relates to being able to cope with the stresses of everyday life, living life to the person’s potential and being able to contribute in their way to the community. The World Health Organisation thinks it is so important that it is there constitution.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness are things like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia PTSD. There are many other and all have a definition in the DSM V, a document used by medical professionals to diagnose conditions.  A mental illness effects the way a person thinks, acts and behaves with other people. Sometimes this can be caused by medical conditions.  The medical professional should exclude this before diagnosing a mental health condition.

How do know if I have a mental illness?

If you feel different to how you usually feel or have been behaving in a different way or interacting with friends and family atypically then you should have a chat to your GP.

By letting a GP know that things have been a little different to what is normal for you they can help. This might include:

  1. Feeling things have changed or aren’t quite right
  2. Changes in the way that you carry out your day-to-day life
  3. Not enjoying, or not wanting to be involved in things that you would normally enjoy
  4. Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns
  5. Being easily irritated or having problems with friends and family for no reason
  6. Finding your performance at school, TAFE, university or work is not as good as it used to be
  7. Being involved in risky behaviour that you would usually avoid, like taking drugs or drinking too much alcohol, or depending on these substances to feel “normal”
  8. Feeling sad or ‘down’ or crying for no apparent reason
  9. Having trouble concentrating or remembering things
  10. Having negative, distressing, bizarre or unusual thoughts
  11. Feeling unusually stressed or worried.

How do I get help?

Talk to your GP.  They can help you identify issue is and assist with treatment of mental illness.  This may mean a number of things depending on what the problem is, and how you would like to address it.  Medication are helpful, but so are many other treatment options including, counselling, seeing a psychologist and other treatment options.

Mental Health Professionals

GP: GP will have completed training in mental health and illness as part of their speciality training.  They will be able to offer a variety of treatments, and if the illness is severe, referral to specialists.  Some GP’s have a special interest in mental health and can offer more assistance than other GP’s.  A GP can also provide a Mental Health Care Plan which can assist with some costs associated with treatment.

Counsellor: Counsellors provide support to people experiencing emotional difficulties by helping them to identify and work through their issues, and assist the person to develop their own answers to the issues they are facing in life

Psychologist: A psychologist is person who has attend university to gain qualifications to the treat mental health problems and assist with human behaviour. The difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychologist is not a medical doctor and primarily aids the depressed patient by counselling and psychotherapy.

Psychiatrists: Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are experts in mental health. They specialise in diagnosing and treating people with mental illness. They may recommend treatments at times other than medication, counsellors or psychologists. This may include ECT and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Some good website to look at: