- Published on Wednesday 30 September, 2015
- 4 min. to read
At any given time about one in five Australians is experiencing a mental health condition. Like any health condition, a person’s mental health can impact their ability to work safely.
What is a mental health condition?
According to the Mental Health Foundation of Australia, a mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings, or behaviour (or all three) and that causes the person distress and difficulty in functioning.
Mental illness is severe in some cases and mild in others. Individuals who have a mental illness don’t necessarily look like they are sick, especially if their illness is mild. Others may show symptoms such as confusion, agitation or withdrawal. There are many different mental illnesses, most commonly anxiety and depression.
Anxiety affects most people from time to time when faced with certain situations such as starting a new job, taking an exam or speaking in public. At times, a certain level of anxiety can help people feel alert and focussed.
For a person experiencing an anxiety disorder it is a serious condition and anxious feelings can not be brought under control easily, this can impact their ability to cope with daily life.
Depression affects how people feel about themselves. They may lose interest in work, hobbies and doing things they normally enjoy. They may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate. Depression makes life more difficult to manage from day to day.
How can you make a difference?
There are a number of techniques you can use to stay mentally healthy, here are a few to consider:
Fuel your body
Imagine putting dirty fuel in your car, you wouldn’t get far before it broke down and stopped working as it should. The same goes for your body. Unhealthy food (high in sugar and bad fats), alcohol, caffeine or drugs can all make anxiety worse and increase stress levels. Consider going for a walk, include more daily exercise, enjoy healthy food options and get a good night’s sleep to help you stay mentally fit and alert.
Re-charge & relax
When your own physical and emotional needs are taken care of you are stronger and more resilient to stressful situations.
Talk to your supervisor, family, friends or your health professional about what is causing you concern and work together to find a solution.
MEGT’s health and wellbeing portal, eapdirect®, has a range of articles and a library of financial resources and learning programs, podcasts and a series of videos that are also helpful.
Employees can access the website www.eapdirect.com and enter:
Organisational name: MEGT (Australia) Ltd
Organisational token: megtau
Organisational password: usrkey
Looking for more information?
Need Immediate Help?
Call 000 if life is in danger
Lifeline 13 11 14
MEGT’s EAP 1300 360 364