☏ 0450 856 700
Photo of Garden at Mt Lawley Counselling

Perth Counselling  •  Individual Psychotherapy  •  Couples Therapy  •  Sex Therapy  •  Skype Counselling

Mental Health

Hank Glorie

Clinical Psychologist
Perth, Western Australia

What is meant by 'mental health issues'?

When we use the term 'mental health illness' we are using a term as broad as the term 'physical illness', which could mean anything from the common cold to terminal cancer. Similarly, and for example, generalised anxiety is described as a 'mental illness' as is schizophrenia, but they are vastly different conditions. Generalised anxiety disorder is common, has its origins in upbringing, and is usually curable. On the other hand, schizophrenia is far less common, organic in origin, a seriously debilitating illness, manageable rather than curable. Mental health problems can refer to a raft of psychological and psychiatric conditions. Well known ones include:

How common are mental health issues?

Mental health issues are common in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently stated that 1 in 5 Australians experienced difficulties with their mental health in a one-year period. The ABS also reports that 45% of Australians aged 16-85 years have had a significant mental health issue in their lifetime. These figures show the prevalence of psychological problems or psychiatric illnesses in Australia, which is concerning for current and future generations.

Signs of mental health difficulties

It is important to seek a professional assessment by a doctor or trained counsellor when you notice that you are struggling emotionally or psychologically, or when friends or family suggest you seek some support. Equally, you can suggest professional help to someone you know who appears to be having emotional difficulties. Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of mental health issue but early warning signs can include:

What are the causes of mental health issues?

We are still learning about the causes of mental health problems, however one theory that is used to explain the development of such issues is the stress-vulnerability model.

This model proposes that some people are predisposed, either due to either upbringing or genetic inheritance, to mental or psychological unwellness. People appear more likely to develop psychological or psychiatric problems if there is a family history of such mental health issues. A person is also at increased likelihood of having mental health problems if they encounter significant life stressors. Stress is a subjective factor in regard to well-being as one person can find an event or situation stressful, and another person may not. The level of societal or personal pressure that is experienced as stressful and leads to deterioration of an individual's mental health varies between people, and depends on many factors including the individual's personality (e.g. levels of robustness, trustfulness, optimism, fearfulness), social supports and circumstances, coping strategies, physical health, willingness to seek help, and so on.

Stressors that may lead to the development of mental health problems include:

What is the impact of a mental health problem?

The impact, of course, depends on the nature and severity of the illness. Leaving psychiatric conditions aside, ordinary psychological problems such as depression and anxiety cause significant stress on the individual and the individual's partner, children, extended family, and friends, colleagues, workmates. Some common negative effects include:

How does one look after and improve one's mental health?

Recovery from, or resolving, psychological problems can be a difficult or relatively easy journey depending on the nature of the problem, its level of entrenchment in the personality, the personal resources (i.e. emotional strength and vulnerability) of the person affected, how long the issue has been in the individual's life and the severity of the symptoms. Recovery time can vary however and is influenced by the factors such as:

Counselling or therapy can be an integral part of recovery from mental health problems and can provide the following benefits:

Many people with problematic emotional states, such as chronic anxiety or/and depression, do benefit from taking prescribed medication. Although not always necessary, they can be a useful adjunct to psychological therapy.

To make an appointment, please feel free to contact Hank.

Hank Glorie

Clinical Psychologist

Email: hankglorie@gmail.com
Telephone: 0400 186 760

Mt Lawley Counselling
13 Alvan Street
Mount Lawely (Perth), WA 6050

Click here to go to Hank Glorie's page

Click here to go to the main page