Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) co-ordinators are urging communities to think about ways to manage and cope with challenges during the busy festive season.
According to the organisation, Christmas is a happy time for most people, but it can also be a difficult period.
People can experience stress due to conflict, feelings of isolation, grief and missing loved ones which can sometime lead to substance abuse and mental health issues.
People from rural communities may face additional issues such as financial hardship, uncertain weather, market forecasts and other unexpected adverse situations.
RAMHP co-ordinator Darcy Budden said there are some practical tips for looking after your own mental health and wellbeing which can help you cope with the challenges that Christmas may bring, including:
Staying connected with family and friendsDoing volunteer work with a charityGetting involved in social activities such as a community Christmas functionBeing mindful of your diet and getting enough sleep and exerciseBeing careful of excessive alcohol intake and avoiding other substancesTrying mindfulness exercises and relaxation techniques.”The festive season can also be a busy time for celebrations and it is important to consider your own safety such as how you intend to get to and from a destination and deciding who the designated driver is,” Mr Budden said.
“Connections are also important and reaching out to those who may be alone can make a big difference.”
“We also need to be mindful of alcohol and other substances and the impact it can have on people’s judgement. Alcohol is a depressant drug which affects coordination, concentration, judgement skills and slows response times.”
Anyone with concerns about themselves or theirloved ones is urgedcontact the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 (free call for landlines) or the Drug andAlcohol Helpline on 1300 887 000.
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