left arrow
Making Health Better
left arrow

NQPHN reminds North Queenslanders to look after their mental health during the festive season

The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy, but for many it can be a time of stress, anxiety, disappointment, or loneliness.

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) has today launched its Be Kind To Your Mind This Christmas Time social media campaign, prompting North Queenslanders to look after their mental health during the Christmas and New Year period.

Be Kind To Your Mind This Christmas Time provides links to 24-hour crisis support services, counselling support services, and community service organisations.

These specialised support services are readily available to listen to any concerns and to provide support and assistance to develop coping strategies.

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer John Gregg said it’s important to remember to take some time out, seek help when it’s needed, and to check on loved ones throughout the holiday season.

“Some people experience feelings of isolation, financial pressures, or increased family conflict that can make this a very stressful time of year,” Mr Gregg said.

“This campaign focuses on effective ways to beat Christmas stress and anxiety, deal with family tension, take care of money worries, and manage loneliness.

“Be Kind To Your Mind This Christmas Time urges people to reach out to free online and phone support services such as NQ Connect, Beyond Blue, eheadspace, and many more.”

Mental Illness Fellowship of Queensland Executive Manager for North Queensland Jeremy Audas believes reaching out to the community and providing this information and advice is an effective way to get conversations started and reduce social isolation.

“Christmas is certainly a busy time, usually accompanied by high expectations and increased social activity,” Mr Audas said.

“However, some people may live alone, be under financial or mental distress, be isolated from family and friends, or be subject to trauma such as domestic violence.

“It may also be a sad time where it’s their first Christmas without a loved one who has passed away.

“For these people, Christmas can be a time when they need an extra helping hand.

“A significant proportion of people with severe mental illness shy away from social interaction because of stigma and past experiences.

“Those of us who have stable housing, income, a great family, and friends should think about those who don’t have these things, often through no fault of their own, and through a simple act of kindness can help people feel as if someone is thinking or caring about them.”

Operation Compass, the ex-ADF and families suicide prevention project being delivered by NQPHN in Townsville, also launched its #CheckYourMates campaign over the weekend calling on the ex-ADF community to check on their mates over the holidays.

#CheckYourMates challenges veterans to check in on at least five mates over the holiday period in hope that those mates who are travelling well will be encouraged to check on five more mates after that, and if someone is not going well, to encourage them to seek support.

The Be Kind To Your Mind This Christmas Time campaign will be run on NQPHN’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more information, visit, www.nqphn.com.au/be-kind-to-your-mind