Let’s Talk… How can we talk about our mental health?  25

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When we talk to friends and family, we talk about our daily lives, our work, grandkids, hobbies, and news. Often, something that is very important can be overlooked. It is talking about our mental health. beyondblue is encouraging Australians of all ages to have a conversation about mental health. beyondblue’s resources give people the tools they need to reach out to someone they are worried about or to turn to someone they trust to talk openly and honestly about their mental health.

If someone is experiencing depression or anxiety, often the first step to recovery is having a conversation, so today we want to hear your stories about how you reached out to someone or had someone reach out to you. How did you overcome the challenge to talk about your mental health? What has your experience been and what advice do you have to others? Share your thoughts in the comments below… 

This article has been sponsored by beyondblue. It was written as we feel it provides the Starts at 60 community with valuable insight into a highly important topic. To find out more about the work that beyondblue does and to learn more about depression, anxiety and maintaining good mental health as you get olderclick here.

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  1. As a retired Pastor I have seen many depressed people in my lifetime. When they came to talk to me about how they were feeling.I used to suggest that they went to a councillor who was qualified in this area. We have to be careful and not say ,pick up your chin and get on with it like so many others who don’t have this problem do.Its a sickness and needs a person who has the right qualifications to help them. People who don’t have this problem can damage those who do with words that come out of their mouth. My job was to point them to the right person to help them and encourage them as they progressed .

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  2. Not to belittle anyone currently suffering, but I believe most people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. It’s almost an epidemic in this country contributing to alcohol and drug abuse and spouse abuse and should be a priority for government spending. Friends, partners, doctors, counsellors can all help but what, I think helps most of all, is changing your situation. It doesn’t mean you have to walk out on your nearest and dearest – that can be counterproductive. Change jobs, take a break, take up something new. Hard? Yes. The healing begins when you do it.

  3. We need to let those around us know we are there for them, whatever they need. Sometimes it’s a phone call, a coffee, a talk, listening to their rant; sometimes it helping them get professional help.

  4. I make fun of my ‘forgetting words’ call it my Swiss cheese brain. Hope it does not get much worse than that. I think stress takes a big part also with our ‘mindfulness’

  5. While I believe in being a good listening friend, sometimes a cousellor is needed to change the way a person is thinking

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    • I’m a counselor and that is exactly what I am doing…not always a popular conversation with some people but I can walk away from those.

  6. I have lifelong mental health problems. After a while my family totally abandoned me……….to hard basket. They don’t even know where I am…..including my healthy 92 year old mother. Oh for the grapevine

  7. I suffer anxiety and depression. I have done for many years. It’s tougher than a lot of.you think. The Police Service left me damaged
    Medication helps as to psychologist visits. However as a widower I need reasons to get out. A network of friends is important. It’s about acceptance not expecting them to cure you
    You need people who will understand that you have good and bad days. I am not insane I have just seen too much. I despair at ever finding a partner ever again.

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  8. Also, most important is an Advanced Care Plan…..talk to your doctor about the plan….it can avoid much heart-ache during what can be a very traumatic experience……Dementia, stroke, ABI etc……get one done ASAP.

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    • I’m in the process of doing that with my Mum, 85 who has dementia. Tough conversation, but my Mum’s very pragmatic.

  9. Mental health as a condition is not easily recognisable like a physical affliction. One has to be told re what the person’s disability is, otherwise we think their mental condition is not accepted by the individual sufferer and strangers will not be prepared to put up with them.

  10. Most people are sympathetic to the disabled, mentally or physically as long as both understand and accept it for what it is.

  11. I like to look after my brain just like any other part of the body that I live in. Ginkgo biloba helps with the “Swiss cheese brain” and exercising the brain. Doing things that make you think, and thinking differently. Communicating is a great thing,if it’s not competitive and listening just as much as talking.

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