Support for those struggling with depression or anxiety
Defence Health encourages everyone to actively look after their mental health. It’s important to take action if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are more common than you might think. Research shows at least one in five Australians has experienced depression, anxiety or both in the past year. ADF personnel and their families are particularly susceptible to these and other mental health conditions due to the nature of their work and long periods of separation.
Both depression and anxiety are debilitating conditions. They make it more difficult for people to manage their daily lives, by affecting what they think, feel and how they act.
The good news is that with the right treatment, most people recover from these conditions and are able to take back control of their lives.
Becoming familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety is important, as it makes it easier for people to recognise when they or someone they know may be struggling.
Common symptoms of depression include losing interest in work, hobbies and activities the person would normally enjoy. A person experiencing depression may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel irritable and some find it hard to concentrate.
People experiencing anxiety often feel worried or stressed without any particular reason. This can lead to symptoms like hot and cold flushes, a racing heart, tightening of the chest, snowballing worries and compulsive behaviour.
If you feel you have symptoms of depression or anxiety, talking to your doctor can be a powerful first step towards recovery.
Your own local social network of workmates, team-mates, fellow serving members and friends can also be a great source of support when times get tough.
Talking to a friend or neighbour in person or over the phone and sharing how you’re feeling with those who have had similar experiences, can be a source of support, encouragement and hope.
No matter where you live, support for depression or anxiety is available. By phone or web-chat, help is available 24 hours a day.
- beyondblue can be called on 1300 224 636 at any time
- Lifeline offers a crisis support and suicide prevention line on 13 11 14
- headspace supports the mental health of young people on 1800 650 890
If you are based in the ACT, you also have the option of NewAccess. NewAccess is a ground-breaking beyondblue initiative providing free support, in the form of personalised coaching sessions incorporating cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), for people experiencing mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
For more information or to access NewAccess call (02) 6287 8066 or email [email protected]
For more information on how Defence Health supports members to look after their mental health, check out the MindStep™ Health Program.