Share what’s on your mind
Tough times are part of life, but no-one needs to face difficulties alone. It may be hard to open up, but talking to someone you trust about your worries may provide a sense of relief and be the first step towards getting the support you need. Talk to a friend, family member, workmate or your GP. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, you can contact the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or chat online or by email.
Start a conversation if you’re concerned about someone
If you notice someone seems out of sorts, it can be hard to know what to say. You might feel it’s not your place to say anything, but if you are concerned, it’s best not to ignore the situation. Find a time and place that’s comfortable for both of you and ask, ‘Are you ok?’. Listen without judging. Don’t try to diagnose, provide counselling or solve the person’s problems. Ask if you can help, but emphasise the importance of getting professional help. It’s also important to follow-up.
A common misconception is that people with depression or anxiety can just ‘snap out of it’, or that depression and anxiety means a person is weak. The truth is, with the right treatment, support and understanding, most people with depression and anxiety can manage their condition successfully, recover and lead fulfilling lives. If you have a story of hope and recovery, sharing it with others is one of the most powerful ways to improve understanding of depression and anxiety, and help to end the cycle of misinformation.
Take a stand against discrimination
Depression and anxiety are recognised disabilities and attract certain rights under the national Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Disability discrimination occurs when a person with a disability is treated less favourably than a person without a disability in the same or similar circumstances. If you believe you have experienced discrimination – speak up and report it. If you think you might be experiencing depression or anxiety due to the impact of discrimination, talk to a health professional or contact the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636.