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The effects of bushfires on those living with complex mental health issues

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The constant smoke haze and news reports serve as a reminder of the bushfires that still burn across Australia. Exposure to details and graphic images relating to the fires can be extremely distressing and can have a negative affect on our mental health.

The effects of such devastating events can be even more profound for vulnerable people within our communities, such as those living with complex mental health issues. People living with a mental health issue may find their symptoms return or become more intense during this time. For example, someone living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might find that graphic images trigger flashbacks to their own trauma.

When maintaining a state of wellbeing may already be a daily challenge, exposure to upsetting details of what is happening around the country can make this even more difficult.

More self-care than usual may be required in order to cope with everyday life.

If you're feeling impacted by the bushfire crisis, it might help to regain a sense of control, try to connect with others, and find comfort within your day.

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Parenting with Mental Health Challenges

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Topic Tuesday is a regular event on the SANE Forums where we host live discussions of specific mental health issues. Recently Belle from Parentline joined us to give advice for parents with mental health challenges. Here's some of her tips.

The life of a parent can be a busy and demanding one! You could be juggling so many potential stressors all at once, including work, family commitments, finances, and keeping up with your child’s school and social routines.

For those parents managing mental health challenges, you are managing not only your responsibilities as a parent, but your own mental health, and the complex and confronting emotions that can come with this delicate balance. No easy feat.

This being said, there are things you can do for yourself that can make parenting with a mental illness easier.

Be kind to yourself and mindful of self-expectations

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Is it okay to ignore Christmas?

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Is it okay to ignore Christmas?

Absolutely!

Is it okay to take the bits of Christmas that work for you and discard the rest?

Definitely!

And is it okay to enjoy the solitude of Christmas Day and indulge yourself without feeling guilty?

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The importance of remaining curious as an online advocate

The importance of remaining curious as an online advocate
Online community spaces are vital places for health advocates to find a sense of connection, belonging and support. If you have an online advocacy platform, you are no doubt aware that audiences are as diverse as the needs and conditions they advocate for. It is therefore essential to recognise that there are inherent tensions in online communities...
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How to connect when you feel alone

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Despite the world's population growing rapidly, many of us feel lonelier than ever. The drive to connect with others and forge meaningful social relationships is an essential part of what makes us human. From a neurobiological perspective, we are wired for connection.   However, as a 2016 survey by Lifeline Australia revealed, more than 80 per...
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What's the biggest challenge people with mental illness face?

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What's the biggest day-to-day challenge people living with mental illness experience?

We asked 10 SANE Peer Ambassadors for the biggest challenge, fear or obstacle they face.

And they said their biggest challenge is . . .

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Battling life's ups and downs

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Why is the cliché 'life has its ups and downs' so difficult to apply when we find ourselves in a down moment?

If you find it a struggle to reverse a down day, remember we have the cliché because 'ups' exist as well.

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Ways to unwind and destress when you live with a mental illness

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There's a proven relationship between stress and mental illness. It can worsen an episode, or even result in symptoms returning.

A balanced lifestyle and coping strategies can help with the management of stress. But how do you start?

The following suggestions can be implemented right now, or they can form part of an ongoing plan. 

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How to manage conflict

How to manage conflict

Conflict or disagreement is a part of life and something everyone experiences. Yet, we all respond to and resolve conflict in our own unique way.

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Self-care for managing mania

Self-care for managing mania

Mania and hypomania are symptoms of bipolar disorder. Mania is the ‘high’ euphoric end of the mood scale, with hypomania similar but with less intensity.

If you think you’re experiencing mania, or symptoms are coming on, these strategies may help prevent or reduce the severity of an episode.

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