Section 1: Keeping track of your mental health - look, listen, act
The first step to looking after your mental health and wellbeing is recognising if there is a problem. Do you know the signs to look out for that might indicate your mental health is not as good as it could be?
You might notice that you:
- withdraw from your normal activities or don’t enjoy them as much as you did before
- find it an effort to keep up with your normal activities and relationships
- find university, placements or work more difficult than usual
- start thinking bad thoughts about yourself, such as you are a failure or worthless
- worry about what other people think or feel hopeless about the future
- find it difficult to make decisions or concentrate
- have some problems with your close relationships or find yourself being irritable
- keep worrying about the little things
- don’t want to meet up with friends
- start having physical health problems, such as headaches, churning gut, tiredness, appetite change, infections or muscle pains
- have ideas that you can’t get out of your head
- find it difficult to sleep or sleep more than usual
- feel more irritable, overwhelmed, guilty or miserable.
Noticing changes in others
If you are worried about a friend, consider whether you can see any of these signs in them or ask them if they recognise any for themselves. You can help by having open and honest conversations with them about how they are feeling and encourage them to seek professional help if needed. It is important to listen and to remember that what they don’t say can be just as important as what they do say.
The Beyond Blue anxiety and depression checklist (K10) is a useful resource for you, your mates and colleagues.
You may also like to look at the Black Dog Institute who have a number of useful resources for health professionals, including a Patient Health Questionnaire.
You could also suggest some of the resources found in Sections 8 and 9!