Warning Signs and Seeking Help

Hey, R U OK?

You might be here reading this because you aren’t feeling OK. Or perhaps you are worried that someone you know isn’t OK.

Let’s talk about it. Things can get better, with a little bit of support. This webpage is not about to diagnose you with a mental illness or give you specific advice. Let’s just talk about things that may be a sign that you or someone you know needs a little bit extra support, and how to access it.

So, what are some warning signs that someone may be struggling with a mental health problem?

Things that may impact someone’s mental health include:

  • Family breakdown or separation
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Physical health problems
  • Grief and loss
  • Difficulties at school or work
  • Bullying
  • Relationship problems
  • Media
  • Unstable home or poverty
  • Genetics and brain chemistry
  • Past trauma or abuse

Often, mental health problems are a combination of factors and everyone responds differently to stressors and circumstances.

Two of the most common mental illnesses experience by young people is depression and anxiety. By the age of 18, 1 in 5 young people will have experienced an episode of depression.

Warning signs that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression:

  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Loss of interest in life and previously enjoyable activities
  • Withdrawing from friendships and family
  • Changes in appetite
  • Excessive or reduced sleep/irregular sleeping pattern
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration

Warning signs that you or someone you know may be experiencing an anxiety disorder:

Anxiety is a natural response to stress or a threat. It is designed to help us survive! However, some people experience anxiety when there is no threat or stress… or they feel excessive anxiety towards stress or threat… This may indicate anxiety that you may need some support with to manage.

When the experience of anxiety is sustained over time and it doesn’t go a way, it may impact our ability to do the things we need/want to in life.

  • Mind racing
  • ‘butterflies’ in your stomach
  • Restless
  • Panic attacks, increased heart rate, shortness of breath