Mental health is the umbrella term which covers our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act in a variety of circumstances in our lives. Mental health can also determine how we handle stress, relate to those around us, and inform our decisions.1
Good mental health allows us realise our potential, manage and cope with stressful circumstances we face throughout life. It helps us to work efficiently and contribute to the communities we live in through work, home, school, social and sporting environments. Having social connections, good personal relationships and being part of a community are vital to maintaining good mental health.2
Mental health does not discriminate! It is important to consider mental health through all stages of life from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood.
Mental Health Services Australia state 2-3% of Australian’s have severe mental illness’, 4-6% have a moderate mental illness and 9-12% are diagnosed with a mild mental illness, all of which include anxiety and depressive disorders.3
Symptoms associated with ill mental health can include:
All of the above can affect our ability to function day to day and result in poor mental health.4
There is a strong relationship between physical activity and mental health. Studies show regular exercise is linked to better mental health and emotional well-being, whilst also reducing the risk of developing a mental disorder.5
Exercise and Sports Science Australia recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. A 30 minute walk each day is a great way to achieve this especially if exercise is new to you. Any form of exercise is beneficial!