Hat Day Meeting in recognition of Mental Health

Steve McNulty with President Sue Gray

Our meeting on 6th October was in recognition of Hat Day, which draws attention to mental health.

Guest Speaker Steve McNulty was a welcome addition to the evening, sharing with us an eye-opening presentation on Mental Health.

Steve’s background is in psychology and school counselling.

 

Some of Steve’s key points were:

Alcohol use is most influential in mental disorders in youth, apart from the greater expectations placed upon them by modern society.

Dignity in Mental Health comes through Mental Health First Aid. Through training our community will have the skills to assist others.

More information can be obtained from: https://mhfa.com.au/

 

Every 40 seconds someone somewhere in the world commits suicide.

We need to address the stigma associated with mental health so that dignity and understanding is promoted.

Symptoms are not a barrier to recovery – attitude is.

More information can be accessed at http://worlddignityproject.com.

 

Mental Health is about wellness, not fitness.

Good mental health means having a sense of wellbeing, being able to function in everyday life, being able to have strong relationships, being able to meet the challenges that life presents.

In Australia 45% of the population will experience a mental health condition at some stage in their life.

1 million will suffer from depression and 2 million will suffer from anxiety.

To end the discussion Steve took quite a few questions and finished with a breathing exercise to calm us down.

 

Common Symptoms and Triggers of Mental Illness
 Symptoms:  Although symptoms may vary with each type of mental illness and each individual, the following are some common symptoms to watch for:
 Depression, lasting for longer than a few weeks 

Extreme fears or anxiety that seem "unnatural" for circumstances or events  

Lack of motivation for a prolonged period of time  

Persistent feelings of helplessness or hopelessness  

Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed  

Extreme mood swings sometimes with overly reckless behaviour  

Difficulty concentrating and/or sudden irritability patterns  

Disruption to usual sleep patterns 

Confused thoughts, delusions, and/or hallucinations 

Talk or thoughts of suicide
While some of these symptoms are uncomfortable or frightening to talk about, the sooner someone seeks help, the better the chances for evaluation and management of the illness.

 

Biological factors of Mental Illness

Genetics

Hormones

Early Life Events

Recent Life Events

Internal Factors

Misuse of drugs and alcohol.