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Fears that stop the question ‘are you okay?’


When it comes to asking the important question 'are you okay?' fear can get in the way.

Fear of the response. Fear of our inexperience on the topic of mental health. Fear of appearing to be a stickybeak.

But these concerns don't recognise the relief many people feel after they hear the question.

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Five tips for responding to someone who isn’t ‘OK’

Person is sitting in a comfortable chair with a coffee and looking out the window thoughtfully.

It takes courage to ask simply and directly, ‘are you okay?’, if concerned about someone's mental health.

What if they’re actually fine? Will they be offended? And what do you do if they aren’t okay?

These are common concerns people have when it comes to asking a friend, colleague or loved one ‘are you okay?’. So it’s tempting to frame the question in a way that encourages a positive response, ‘you’re okay, aren’t you?’ 

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How online friends can aid your recovery


For people who are socially isolated, online forums and support services can be a great way to encourage tangible changes in daily life. Often, making friends online can be a stepping stone to reaching out and making friends in the offline world. 

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Don’t ask me what’s wrong – ask me what happened


I'm an artist, speaker, writer, teacher, wife, mum and founder of The Heartworks Creative.

I use every one of my bipolar brain cells, experiences and talents to assist and empower others on their own personal mental health recovery journey.

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Coping with flashbacks

A foggy night

Remembering the past is important. It defines who we are. But sometimes the process of storing an experience as a memory can go awry.

These memory disturbances can present later in life where the event is relived in the form of a flashback.

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Busting myths about psychiatric medication


Psychiatric medications, also known as psychotropic medication, play an important role in the treatment and management of mental illness.

Yet despite being commonplace, there are many myths surrounding the use and effectiveness of psychiatric medication.

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Protecting a relationship when caring for someone

Couple walking in sunshine

When a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness, the automatic concern is for their wellbeing, treatment and recovery. This is a normal and natural response.

Yet many people fail to realise the process can change the family dynamic. Schedules and priorities may change, with time required for appointments, treatment and support. 

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Coping with distressing news events

A person reads the newspaper looking troubled

A disaster or some other upsetting global event can dominate our thoughts and feelings, our private and public conversations, our homes and workplaces. And with 24/7 news just a click or tap away, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed.

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Does menopause affect mental health?


Menopause is a normal transition for women, and every woman will experience menopause differently. 

Some have symptoms that are barely noticeable, while others experience significant changes. In some cases menopause and the reduction of estrogen can impact on someone's mental health or exacerbate a preexisting mental illness.

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What I wish people knew about OCD


Awareness of Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is certainly growing.

The term is now commonplace in the Australian vernacular and characters with the disorder are regularly depicted on television and in the movies.

But do these adjectives, analogies and representations come close to depicting the experiences of people living with the disorder?

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