Depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness affect many people. One in five people will suffer depression at some point in their life. The statistics don’t necessarily help you just now. However, what this means is that there are treatments, there is support, there are other people who do understand and who know what you are going through. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Depression and other mental illnesses are serious. They can be painful, debilitating, distressing and even life threatening. If you are feeling distressed, concerned or in pain, SEEK HELP.
For many of us the first step is understanding that we have a problem and that it might have a name and therefore a pathway for treatment and recovery.
The symptoms of depression are many. If you are suffering depression, you may be experiencing:
- Moodiness that is out of character.
- Increased irritation & frustration.
- Feelings of intense sadness.
- Feeling guilty out of proportion.
- Finding it hard to take minor criticisms.
- Spending less time with family and friends.
- Loss of interest in food, sex, exercise or other pleasurable activities.
- Being awake throughout the night.
- Increased alcohol & drug use.
- Staying home from work or school.
- Increased physical health problems like fatigue or pain.
- Being reckless or taking unnecessary risks (dangerous driving or excessive gambling).
If some of these symptoms have lasted more than two weeks, you may be suffering from depression and you really should seek help.
There are many resources to help you identify what is going on and how to take the next steps.
Everyone knows of Lifeline – don’t think your crisis isn’t worthy of calling the national help line. But did you know they also offer an online chat service every night, 7 nights a week?
Kid’s Help Line isn’t just for kids in school. They also offer crisis help as well as tools for 18-25 year olds, and like Lifeline have a WebChat counselling tool you can use between 8am and 12am. It’s particularly good if you want to chat discreetly to someone without everyone around you knowing what’s going on.
This service is geared specifically to men with family and relationship concerns, and offers a hotline and online chat module. They also have a range of articles that deal with issues within these topics, including “toolkits” for specific issues like anger management and communication.
The Mental Health Line is a single number, state -wide 24 hour mental health telephone access service. Anyone with a mental health issue can use the Mental Health Line to speak with a mental health professional and be directed to the right care for them.
Wagga Wagga Mental Health
02 5943 1700
(Sub-Acute Mental Health Unit, Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital). The recovery program is an 8 week residential course of education, practical living skills, care coordination and support.
If you’re contemplating suicide, or experiencing suicidal thoughts – this service will have you in touch with a professional counsellor immediately. They operate 24/7 and you can call, use video chat, or chat online.
Sometimes just knowing what you’re dealing with can help a shitload, often allowing you to see your thoughts through the lens of a mental health issue. Black Dog Institute has self-test online programs for sussing if you’re dealing with depression, bipolar or anxiety. They also have a few apps that can help people dealing with these, like Snapshot, which allows you to track and monitor your depression or anxiety, so you can see patterns and also access help quickly if you need it.
beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
The Butterfly Foundation was created to offer support for people suffering from eating disorders and body image issues, as well as people who are close to them. They offer a hotline you can call, as well as a chat module and an email service.
Australia’s first ever nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for LGBTQI+ folks, QLife offer a help line you can call, plus an online chat and also offer the opportunity to email them with a response within 24 hours. When you need IRL help, you can find someone who supports the LGBTQI+ cause.
Call 1800 737 732
A national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, 1800RESPECT has a crisis hotline and online module with trained counsellors on hand to assist. They also explain what will happen when you call, if you’re feeling nervous or concerned.
This support service is specifically for gambling issues, which can be incredibly debilitating and leave those suffering feeling hopeless with a hesitation to reach out. They have a hotline as well as a chat module and forums. Their site also offers a space for you to assess your gambling, SMS support you can set up, and guides for how you can self-help.