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Everyone goes through ups and downs in life and this can affect our mental health, or sense of well being. When our mental health is generally good and we have some support around us, we can deal with the ups and downs, but sometimes it’s not so easy to manage. Our thoughts, feelings and actions can be affected, along with relationships and how we function at school, study or work.

Some of the common things that can affect our mental health include:

Evolve can provide information and support in these areas. Make an appointment with one of Evolve’s nurses to talk things through. The nurse can help you make a plan to deal with any problems. This will include helping you identify your strengths. Depending on what’s going on, the nurse might also suggest you talk to one of our counsellors or someone else at Evolve. They can also tell you about other organisations that can help.

Mental Illness

Some people experience problems that affect their ability to enjoy life over a longer period of time, and have a major impact on their life. This may be referred to as mental illness.

It’s important to get help quickly if you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from mental illness or serious mental health issues. Make an appointment with one of Evolve’s doctors to start figuring out what’s going on and we’ll help you make a plan to deal with it.

The Lowdown is a great place to start looking for answers for when life sucks.

Anxiety

Everyone gets anxious from time to time – it’s a normal response to stressful situations like having a job interview. This kind of anxiety is just a normal part of life. But for some people, the feelings of anxiety can be a lot more extreme and become what’s known as an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a normal and healthy response to a stressful or difficult event in your life. It usually lasts a few hours or a few days at most, and it doesn’t affect your health or other
parts of your life. Too much anxiety, however, can be totally overwhelming. Anxiety disorder is different because the feelings:

It can impact on other areas of your life – like your ability to perform at school or work, or your relationships with friends and family.

Signs you or someone you know may have Anxiety

Evolve provides a group to help people understand and reduce their anxiety.

Depression

Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness. Everyone feels down sometimes, but depression is more than feeling sad or down. Depression is about severe and continued unhappiness that carries on over more than two weeks. If this happens, it’s important to seek help.

Take a one minute self test for depression or check out some of the signs and symptoms of depression.

How can I help someone with depression?

Adapted from depression.org.nz

Suicide

Get help now

Youthline 0800 376633 or free text 234

Lifeline 0800 543354

Depression Helpline 0800 111757

Or in an emergency call 111

Many people have suicidal thoughts at one time or another. Even though it may not feel like it at the time, it’s important to know that times of distress pass, and problems can be solved. With help, you can get through hard times.

Suicidal thinking is usually associated with problems that can be treated. Depression, anxiety disorders and alcohol and drug problems can interfere with how you see yourself and the world around you. Sometimes it is difficult to see a way through your problems by yourself. Make an appointment with a nurse or doctor so you don’t need to deal with these feelings alone.

How can I help someone who is suicidal?

If you or someone you know is in need of urgent help, ring the police or ambulance service on 111 and clearly tell the operator that someone’s life is in danger.

Alcohol

Many people drink alcohol and enjoy it, however when mis-used or abused, drinking alcohol can have serious consequences. We associate drinking with enjoyment and celebrations, but we also often use alcohol to try and make ourselves feel better when we’re unhappy or to try and help us feel more confident. When alcohol is used this way there’s a danger that we come to rely on it. A drinking habit can build up, and we can become physically dependent on it. This means we get used to having alcohol in our bloodstream.

Problems come from drinking too much, so it’s important to know how much you drink, and how much is too much. Take the self-test to see if your drinking is okay. If you’d like to talk to someone about cutting down or stopping drinking, make an appointment with a nurse or call in and see one of our youth workers.

Source: Health Promotion Agency