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Mental Health: What do you know?

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Saturday 5 October to Friday 11 October is Mental Health Week, an annual national event designed to improve awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health: What do you know?

It’s important to think and talk about mental health the same way we do physical health.

This year’s theme is "It's time to talk".

Mental health issues will affect one in five Australians every year. Anxiety disorders are often the most common mental health issue, followed by depression. Many don’t seek help because of the stigma that surrounds mental health.

Mental Health Week centres around World Mental Health Day, which is marked each year on October 10.

CFA Wellbeing Services Advisor Cara McIntyre said it’s important that we start to think and talk about mental health the same way we do about physical health.

“We want to encourage our people to talk about how they’re feeling, to break down the stigma that still exists around mental health,” Cara said.

“That’s why Mental Health Week and events like it are so important. The more we normalise talking about our mental health, the more people will see that it’s ok to not be ok; it’s ok to reach out and ask for help.

“Most importantly it allows us to share information about the support that is available, and highlights that impacts to your mental health don’t have to be a burden you carry alone.”

You can find support information and more resources on Wellbeing online.

Simple tips to manage your mental health

1. Connect:  Connect with family and friends, in the workplace and in the community. Building relationships and connecting with others in a meaningful way can really improve your mental fitness.

2. Be active:  Get moving! Whether it’s walking the dog, gardening, playing sport or going to the gym, moving your body can make you feel great. Find something that you enjoy and get going.

3. Take notice: Take notice of your surrounds, your feelings and the environment. Practicing mindfulness is all about enjoyment and appreciation. Enjoy a meal, a moment, a beautiful view or time with a loved one. Taking notice is about being present. Slow down.

4. Keep learning: Try something new, challenge yourself. Perhaps there’s a DIY project you’re interested in, or a short course you’ve always wanted to do. Get going, sign up!

5. Give: Giving and showing kindness to others can be as rewarding for you as it is for them. It may be a small favour for a friend or a random act of kindness towards a stranger. Or recognise, (take notice) of the contribution you make through your involvement with CFA!

6. Nutrition: What you put in is what you get out. Moderate your fat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake. Are you getting enough fruit and veggies in your diet? And don’t forget to drink plenty of water, particularly before meals.

7. Sleep: Our bodies and minds recover when we sleep. We need between 6-8 hours a night. As much as possible, have a good sleep routine. And be careful of those bright screens just before bed time, as they will wake you up!

October 5 -11 2019 is Mental Health Week 

Mental Health Week aims to activate, educate and engage people around mental health and related issues. The theme for Mental Health Week 2019 in Victoria is Mental Health: What do you know?

Find out about the support available to CFA people

CFA Wellbeing Support Line

If you are not okay, or if you notice a change in someone you know, contact the CFA Wellbeing Support Line on 1800 959 232 to access free, confidential support that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wellbeing services are available to all CFA volunteers, employees and their immediate family members.

The support services include the Member Assistance Program with Psychologists and Counsellors, Traditional and Career Firefighter Peer Support Programs, Chaplaincy Program, Bullying and Harassment Hotline, Let Me Know web-based app, Centres Against Sexual Assault as well as other services provided by the Organisational Wellbeing team.

To view the complete range of services visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/wellbeing