It's okay to not be okay…You’re not alone. Parenthood is a major change and sometimes, a major challenge in people’s lives. It's quite common and normal to experience symptoms of sadness and anxiety. The Stats; One in ten prenatal women suffer from some form of anxiety and depression. This figure rises to one in seven ladies once given birth. Let's not forget about the dads out there, with one in ten new fathers also experience a form of depression and anxiety. It's time to break the stigma around this very true, real, exhausting illness. So, let's start by taking a look at what can cause perinatal depression and...

Feeling down, stressed or anxious are all normal emotions for young people to experience. When these feelings persist for long periods of time or begin to interfere with work, study and social life, they may be considered part of a mental illness. If this sounds familiar, read on. Is it just me? If you’re struggling with mental illness, you’re not alone! Recent evidence shows that one in four people aged 15-19 years are currently living with a mental illness. Anxiety and depression have the highest prevalence among teens (AIHW, 2011). Where can I get help? If you think something isn't right, it's important...

Have you heard of “green exercise”? It’s a buzz word which refers to physical exercise undertaken in natural environments. So, what are the benefits of exercising outdoors? The benefits of exercising outdoors We all know that physical activity is great for our physical and mental health, but does it really matter where you do it? Well, kind of! Exercising anywhere is good for you, but research has shown that you may get additional benefits if you move your workout outside. Here are five reasons why you should consider exercising outside: 1. It improves your mood. There’s just something about the outdoors that makes us...

We often think about being “healthy” in terms of our bodies, and too often forget about our minds. So, what exactly is “mental health” and how can you look after yours? Let's take a look at why should exercise for mental health! What exactly is “Mental Health”? It’s a term that is thrown around a lot, but it’s also often misunderstood. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make...

What is Bipolar Affective Disorder? Bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), is a mental health condition that is characterised by severe mood swings, between a state of depression and mania, that can last several months at a time. Not all BPAD symptoms are equal – some people experience very high manic and low depressive periods, others may present with severe depression and mild mania (hypomania). When experiencing a depressive episode, patients may appear low and flat in their mood, low motivation, have guilt and sadness, lowered appetite and energy levels and poor sleep. A manic episode is the opposite of a depressive episode, where a...

In Australia, we are experiencing higher than ever before numbers of people living with clinically diagnosed mental health disorders. Previously, mental health issues were rarely discussed due to the sense of weakness or shame in admitting that one may have a problem. Thankfully now, society and its perception of mental health issues is becoming better informed and developing a better educated understanding of the incredibly significant impact that mental health disorders has on an individual, family, healthcare system and the country as a whole. Mental and behavioural disorders, such as depression, anxiety and drug use, are important drivers of disability and morbidity. This...

What is mindfulness? Humans; we love to think - its part of us - its our kind of thing. It’s an incredibly simple, yet challenging mental technique adapted from a Buddhist practice to now suit non-religious contexts. Some people may think its about clearing your head and thinking about “nothing”. But in theory it’s actually more than that, its stepping back and hearing your thoughts without judgment with a relaxed but a focused mind. To sum it all up its basically being aware of what you are doing, when you are doing it, and becoming a master of your mind, rather than being...

This case study is one example of how exercise interventions can assist with improving mental health, activities of daily living and independence when mental health and in this case the impact of substance use is involved.*   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 the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. ESSA’s joint position statement on mental health states that mental health and physical health are fundamentally connected. A...

According to Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) postnatal depression is effecting more than 1 in 7 new mums each year in Australia.   Accredited Exercise Physiologist and women’s health expert, Esme Soan, explains why it’s important to understand the difference between ‘feeling a bit down’ and having a mental condition. “Postnatal depression is different from the ‘baby blues’, which many women experience in the early days after giving birth associated with hormonal cascades. Some signs of PND are consistent low mood, anxiety, feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness or hopelessness.” For a better over look at postnatal depression and its symptoms and signs, visit Beyond...

Men’s health in the 21st century seems to be promoted as having the latest gadgets (for fitness of course!), updating your online status, getting in shape for summer, buying the top 10 vanity products and having a diet full of “superfoods”. Trying to keep up with the demands of society and ourselves can be overwhelming and our mental and physical health can suffer. We recommend taking a step sideways, not back… and think about your current self. How is your physical health? Not in terms of bulging muscles or how long you can run, but in terms of body fat, aches...