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Mental Health Awareness

The World Health Organisation defines Mental Health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with normal stressors of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

A mental illness can be defined a health problem that affects how a person thinks, feels, behaves and interacts with other people. A mental illness is present when intense feelings of anger, sadness, shame, guilt, fear or tension, becomes so overwhelming that people have great difficulty coping with day to day functioning, for example, getting up out of bed, showering, eating, attending to work or school, enjoying pleasant activities and connecting with love ones. A mental health illness can affect any individual across the lifespan, it does not discriminate from age, gender, education level, culture, religion, or socioeconomic status.

In each year, approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness. Mental illness is real. Many people suffer from it in silence feeling ashamed or guilty for their thoughts, feelings, behaviours or life decisions. I want to reassure you, that you not alone in your suffering. The statistical information below highlights how common mental health is in Australia.

  • 4 % of Australians will experience a major depressive episode within a 12- month period
  • 14% of Australians will experience one form of an anxiety disorder within a 12-month period.
  • 3% of Australians will be affected by psychotic illness
  • 2% of Australians will experience some type of eating disorder in their life, with woman 9 times more likely than men
  • 5% of Australian will experience substance abuse disorder in any 12- month period


If you are suffering today with a mental illness, you may be asking yourself, why me? why now? where is this coming from? What we understand at this point in time, is that many mental health conditions are caused by a combination of biological (genetics and abnormal functioning of nerve cells that are connected to different regions of the brain) psychological (mood, personality and behaviours) and environmental and social factors (familial, medical and culture).

The you tube video # In Our Own Words, developed by Mind, the mental health charity is a raw capture of individuals experiencing mental health illness and how they cope. If you would like help with your mental health, please contact me, I am here to help you – you are not alone.

Much love, healings and blessings

Rebecca Sheehy


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