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Info Pages

Mental Health

Mental Health is a term that broadly describes our mental wellbeing. It’s about our state of mind, and also our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It’s also about our relationship with the outside world, with other people, and with society. It’s also about how we think about and relate to our selves, and participate in society.

 

“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes 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.”

“Mental Health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component included in the WHO's definition of health: "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease". It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.”
Source: World Health Organisation’s Draft working definition

 

Research has shown the young people who are same sex attracted or gender diverse are more likely to experience mental health issues. This is not because we are bad or mad, but because we experience marginalisation and stigmatisation in society, which can make it harder for us to cope with everything in our lives. It’s important to remember a few things;

  • Being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer or being confused about your sexuality or gender doesn’t mean you have a mental illness. Feeling attracted to the same sex is as natural as being attracted to the opposite sex. Feeling confused about your gender or like your inside doesn’t match your outside is OK too. You are not alone; there are plenty of others who feel similar feelings to what you’re feeling.
  • Everyone deserves to be treated with RESPECT by others. It is not okay for people to call you names, or tease you, or make you feel unsafe
  • It can take time to know who you are and being confused is a normal part of figuring it all out
  • It’s OK to be yourself – whoever that is
  • Trust your feelings and talk to someone you trust about them
  • Being different can be hard, but it can be more interesting and fun too!
  • Support is out there.

Needing support right now? Try some of the following 24 hour phone services

The Samaritans Youthline
(08) 9388 2500
The Salvo Care Line
(08) 9442 5777
Kids Helpline
1800 551 800 (also offers online counselling. Go to http://www.kidshelpline.com.au/ for more.

Lifeline
13 11 14

http://www.lifeline.org.au/

Crisis Care
1800 199 088

 

 

Or try one of these agencies during open hours

Freedom Centre
We are not a counseling service but can offer peer support and a safe social space to be yourself and meet people who have some similar experiences and feelings as you. Contact us

Gay and Lesbian Community Services (WA)
Ph: (08) 9420 7201 (counseling line)
Ph: 1800 184 527 (counseling line, country areas)
Counseling line is open 7-10pm weeknights.

http://glcs.org.au/

WA AIDS Council (WAAC) Counselor
The WAAC counselling service specialises in sexuality counseling.
Ph: (08) 9482 0000
http://waaids.com/Home.html
Quarry Health
FPWA Sexual Health Services’ youth service. Offers LGBTIQQ (Lesbain, Gay Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Queer and Questioning) youth friendly counseling, as well as STI Testing and other services.
Ph: (08) 9430 4544
http://www.fpwa.org.au/

 

To find out more about Mental Health & Depression and services available check out these links

Reach Out at

http://au.reachout.com/

 

Lifeline directory services finder
https://justlook.lifeline.org.au/
http://www.lifeline.org.au/

 

Youth Beyond Blue (Ybblue)

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/ybblue/

Check out the Facts sheets about depression, bullying, suicide, and other mental health related stuff by clicking here.

 

Its Alllright

http://www.itsallright.org

 


 

Mental Health & What to look out for

If things get overwhelming it is important to know about what to look for in our mental wellbeing and know where you can go if things start to go a bit off track. Here are some of the things to look for:

 

Depression

Depression refers to changes to our mood and interest in doing our usual activities. People who experience depression usually say they notice some of the following:

  • Feeling sad, crying, feeling unhappy a lot of the time, and losing interest in doing the things that you used to find enjoyable. Finding it hard to get motivated to do things any more.
  • Feeling angry and annoyed, irritable and fed up most of the time
  • Feeling worthless, guilty and to blame for the way things are in life.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Sleep problems such as difficulty falling asleep or waking up, or waking during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep
  • Changes to usual appetite.
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

Most people have some time in their life when the feel down in their mood, such as sad, lost, hurt, or alone. But if these or any of the things listed above last for longer than 2 weeks it may mean that you are experiencing depression. You can get help to overcome depression from the above-mentioned LGBTIQQ friendly services.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural emotion we all have when we are faced with danger or a threatening situation or event. Working out who you are and possibly dealing with discrimination and bullying can be pretty intense and scary stuff! This may trigger anxiety in some people.

People who experience anxiety describe having fears and worries about their safety and/or the safety of others. In some people these worries might be accompanied by different body sensations including shortness of breath, racing heart beat, sweating, hot flushes, dizziness, tingling sensations in arms and legs, “butterflies” in the stomach, dryness of mouth, light-headedness and surreal feelings.

Because of this people with anxiety may choose not to go out and participate in the things they used to; choosing to stay away from the situations where these worries or sensations happen.
If you are experiencing any of the above, contact one of the services above or talk with your Doctor, school counselor, parent, or someone you trust.

 

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