Look out for others

WITH the final weeks of 2016 upon us, it is a good reminder to think about what has happened over the year, the things we have achieved and also what the new year will bring.

For some, this time of year can be challenging.

This is particularly so for people who are experiencing isolation, loneliness and mental health issues, as we are bombarded with messages of family celebrations, gifts and holidays.

Young people who may be facing some big life changes such as starting a new school, awaiting exam results to get into higher education, or commencing employment can be the most vulnerable. When normal routines change and daily structure is altered, along with missing regular contact with friends or having to financially support themselves, it can cause additional pressure.

During these times, it is valuable for families and friends to be aware of signs and symptoms that something might be wrong with their loved ones.

Being withdrawn, not doing the things they would normally enjoy, ongoing worry or irritability are just some of the changes to look out for.

If you need support or advice, headspace is here to help.

As the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace provides support to young people, aged 12 to 25, who are going through a tough time, and their parents.

This can include support around mental health, physical health, work and study or alcohol and other drugs.

No matter where you are, you can access help through one of our 95 centres in metro, rural and regional areas of Australia, which you can locate on our website headspace.org.au along with mental health and wellbeing resources.

You can also access help via eheadspace.org.au, which provides online and telephone support between 9am and 1am, seven days a week.

From everyone at headspace, we wish you and your family a safe, relaxing and enjoyable break over the holidays.

DR NATALIE GRAY

headspace chief medical officer


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