Psychology and Allied Health Services

October – Mental Health Month

What is Mental Health?

According to Beyond Blue, the term ‘Mental Health’ is frequently misunderstood. It is commonly used to refer to mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and others. However, mental health is more about well-being and wellness rather than illness. The World Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. In fact, it is possible to be mentally healthy regardless of whether or not a mental illness is present as shown in the Mental Health Continuum proposed below by Keyes (2007).

October is Mental Health Month in Australia, an opportunity for individuals and communities, to focus on actions and environments that promote mental health and well-being. The theme of Mental Health Month 2020 is “Tune In”.  Tuning in means being present and aware of what is happening within and around us.

Tuning in:

  • focuses and calms our mind
  • helps us understand ourselves and others
  • helps us find new perspective
  • assists us to make effective choices

In the hustle and bustle of life, tuning in helps us connect with ourselves and our interactions with each other so that we can intentionally choose and act in ways that promote mental health and well-being. This is particularly important during a pandemic.

Ways to maintain mental health

  • connecting with others
  • staying positive
  • being physically active
  • helping others
  • getting enough sleep
  • using coping strategies
  • getting professional help when needed

Early Warning Signs of Low Mental Health

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling back from people and usual activities (disconnecting / isolating)
  • Lack of energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

If you think you or someone close to you has low mental health, now is a good time to seek treatment.

Our team at Minding Family Townsville would be happy to provide further support to you or a loved one to assist with improving mental health.  Please contact our amazing admin team on 47 238 221 to discuss pathways for referral.

For more information on mental health visit:

 Way Ahead

Beyond Blue


Keyes, C. L. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing: A complementary strategy for improving national mental health. American Psychologist, 62(2), 95.