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Estrangement and the holidays part 2: Coping with family events

People wait for food at a family barbeque

It can be hard seeing family over the holidays when relationships are strained. In part two of our series on estrangement and the holidays, SANE Peer Support Worker JD has some tips on dealing with challenging family events.  

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Estrangement and the holidays part 1: Finding new traditions

Young person with long hair walking on the street and looking into the distance

The holidays can be tough for anyone who has needed to separate from their family. In part one of our series on estrangement and the holidays, Peer Support Worker JD talks about finding meaning this holiday season after cutting ties with relatives.  

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A letter to my daughter

Hamish holds Matilda to his chest and kisses her head there are trees behind them

Marking Father’s Day, SANE Peer Ambassador Hamish writes a letter to his two-week-old daughter Matilda. He commits to sharing the wisdom gained from his mental health recovery and to helping his daughter navigate life’s complexities with compassion.  

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Telling a partner about past sexual assault

Two people sitting close together holding hands in a supportive way

The decision to tell a partner about a history of sexual trauma is a deeply personal choice. It can bring up mixed emotions that are hard to sort through.  

If you feel ready to have this conversation with your partner, I’m offering some advice to help you feel even more prepared. 

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How to ‘be a man’ living with bipolar – from relationships to dealing with male stereotypes

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What does it mean to be an Aussie man living with bipolar and navigating relationships?

We ask Matt and Mark, two SANE Peer Ambassadors, about their experiences. They share how they deal with stigma, harmful stereotypes, and what they find helpful from the people close to them. At the end of the day, they say speaking up about their mental health (as hard as it can be) allows others to do the same.

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Dating with bipolar disorder

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Vulnerability, trust and authenticity are the foundations of any successful relationship. It takes time to really get to know someone and build genuine intimacy. In the initial phases of dating, everyone tries to put their best foot forward to impress their prospective partner.

The ‘honeymoon’ phase is ideally full of fun, laughter and good times as we enjoy spending time getting to know the other person. The reality is that we all have our challenges and flaws which will rear their heads when life becomes stressful or we have our first conflict with our loved one.

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How to connect when you feel alone

Person standing in dark room looking out window
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, loneliness in Australia is an issue. A 2018 survey by the Au...
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Three tips for managing loneliness this holiday season

Red Christmas bauble is bright against a black and white leafless Christmas tree

The holidays are a time to connect with our loved ones. But for many people it can feel the opposite. Being separated from family and loved ones – either due to work, loss, or conflict – can make this time of year one of unhappiness and loneliness.

We might feel disconnected from others and feel like nobody really understands us, listens to us, or values our company.

The holidays can be a difficult time if we are feeling like this, but there are simple strategies you can use to help manage feelings of loneliness.

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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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Staying safe while supporting peers

Staying safe while supporting peers

Peer support is a form of mental health care that’s growing in popularity.

Benefits include reduced isolation, empowerment, collaborative learning and connections with people who’ve had similar experiences. Some people say the relaxed environment helps them express issues they would struggle to share in a formal setting.

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