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Even though every year 1 in 5 Australians aged 16-85 will experience a mental illness, it is estimated that 65% of people do not access any treatment. So it is unsurprising then that the theme for this year’s Mental Health Month is ‘Value Your Mind,’ raising awareness and acceptance when it comes to managing our own mental health and encouraging us all to take time for ourselves.

Right now the most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance use disorder, which often occur in combination. And without treatment, like any illness, the disorder is likely to worsen. The onset of a mental illness can typically occur around mid to late adolescence, with 18 to 24 year olds having the highest prevalence than any other age demographic. Currently suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians aged 15-24. Suffice to say if you’re not feeling your best self, you’re not alone.

Fortunately the time is now in October to take time to practice self-care and doing those things that lead to optimal mental health and a balanced wellbeing. Not only are there a range of Mental Health Month events in regional NSW (click here for details), there are also some great resources available online:

http://directory.wayahead.org.au/

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

http://headspace.org.au/

There are also a number of 24 hour counseling and support services available, no matter where you are:

Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511

Lifeline: 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978

Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800

Domestic Violence Line: 1800 656 463

NSW Rape Crisis Centre: 1800 424 017

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 (6 free sessions of telephone counselling)

This Mental Health Month, take care and reach out.

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