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Stop social media negatively impacting your mental health: Four simple tips!

Two young people laugh and smile together reading from a phone.

Did you know that a whopping 80% of the Australian population use social media? On one hand, this is great news, as more people can connect, be entertained, and get informed at any time, day or night.  

On the other hand, social media isn’t all positive. It has its risks, including the potential to increase mental health symptoms because of overuse or online hostility.  

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Caught COVID-19? Here's how to take care of your mental health at home

Person lying in bed looks at their phone

Are you one of the many Australians at home with COVID-19? Whether the symptoms are keeping you in bed or you are self-isolating to protect others, you probably already know that managing your physical and mental health at this time can be challenging.

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Coping with anxiety as COVID-19 restrictions ease

A father and child hug while sitting outside

While the easing of public health restrictions is a big milestone and something to celebrate, it’s also a huge shift in what we have become used to. Many people are surprised to find they have mixed feelings or find it tough as lockdowns and restrictions lift.  

However, this might make more sense than we realise at first.  

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Disability, mental health and wellbeing

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Content note: this blog mentions ableism, internalised ableism and trauma.  

Liel K. Bridgford is a proud disabled person and former mental health counsellor. She shares some thoughts on living with a disability and supporting your mental health, including the benefits of opening up and finding role models in the disability community. 

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‘Discover More’: the power of choir and community to expand horizons

Jenni and Niall standing in front of the Voices of Frankston banner at the Frankston Uniting Church

From singing alongside acrobats, community and acceptance, to improvement in mental health symptoms, Niall and Jenni chat about the empowerment that comes from ‘finding their voice’ in Voices of Frankston.

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Managing anxiety when your fear comes to life

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Bushfire trauma can have a profound impact on existing mental health issues. Finding the right support is key to getting through disaster recovery and bushfire anniversaries.

The town of Wolumla, on the New South Wales south coast is a small village just south of Bega, surrounded by picturesque farmland. But over the summer of 2019/20, the landscape changed. On New Year’s Day, a ring of flames surrounded the region, with fires burning to the north and south. The sky turned orange, blotting out the sun. The ground was blanketed in ash. Fear gripped the town.

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Taking steps to rebuild relationships through bushfire recovery

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Bushfire trauma puts huge pressure on even the strongest relationships. It’s important to realise you’re not alone as you recover.

Bushfire disaster is a perfect storm for anxiety. A lack of control of the situation combined with the threat of loss can be a fertile ground for feelings of despair, uncertainty and hopelessness.

Grace, from Long Beach NSW, knows this all too well. She and her family were evacuated three times during the Black Summer fires. And while their house survived, her childhood home, where her parents still lived, was lost to the flames – an event she describes as heartbreaking.

The menacing fires and displacement both brought out strong anxious feelings for Grace. “It’s hard when you suffer from anxiety as it is,” she says. “Then, when you’re faced with that fear, it’s even harder.”

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Finding a way through your own bushfire recovery

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Bushfire recovery is different for everyone. Finding a way back can take time, but there are green shoots on the other side.

Experiencing disaster takes a significant toll. The added pressure of being responsible for others – whether they’re family members, friends or people in your community – can make it really hard to find time and space for important self-care. But not doing it can have devastating effects.

Butch lives in Moss Vale, in the New South Wales Southern Highland area. In January 2020, a fire jumped a river and raced towards homes, sandwiching his town between two major blazes. Although he and his family were safe, Butch got a call asking if he would be part of an emergency response team in Batemans Bay.

When he arrived, the town was cloaked in smoke and lit by the red glow of flames.

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Visible: How art has helped me express my mental health story

Jess-Revens

For many young people, the transition to adulthood can be uncertain and overwhelming. Add to that a feeling of isolation and disconnection, and it’s no surprise this is the time where people are most likely to face mental health challenges. 

SANE Peer Ambassador Jess has recently co-designed a new project called Visible.

Visible is a creative collaboration between young Australians experiencing mental health challenges, and artists. These partnerships have produced an insightful collection of creative expressions that share the real experiences of mental health challenges faced by young people. The aim is to change how mental health is seen and spoken about across Australia, and create a culture that’s more accepting and understanding. 


Here's what Jess had to say about the project:

"My Visible expression tells the story of the long-term impacts of childhood trauma and adversity. More specifically, it tells the story of the events leading to my suicide attempt and how a chance encounter after the fact changed my life and the way I relate to my complex mental illness forever. 

By and large, the highlight of Visible for me has been working with my artist and collaborator, Anna. Anna and I are great buddies now and support each other's artistic endeavours and growth. I will always be grateful to Visible for bringing Anna's kind, and very authentic energy into my life. She told my story with such richness and consideration. I don't think I have ever felt more seen, heard or held by another person in my life. 

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Top tips for coping with anxiety during COVID

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As part of SANE's COVID-19 mental health series, one of our Help Centre counsellors shares their top tips for coping with anxiety. 

If you’re like most people in Australia, you’ve been dealing with uncertainty and change because of COVID-19. If this has caused you anxiety, you’re not alone. It’s natural to experience challenging emotions during a pandemic. But, if you’re finding you can’t get a break from anxiety, stress and worry, it’s important you have strategies to help you get through. 

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