Mental health education is important for your well-being

Your Mental Health checklist

Mental health education is just as important as your physical health

During times of uncertainty and periods of isolation, feelings of stress, exhaustion and anxiety are common and you may need a little more support to simply navigate your day-to-day.

We’re encouraging everyone to make mental health a priority by sharing some quick tips on how to take care of yourself and those around you, as well as sharing useful links to some of the University’s research and resources.

It's important to remember there's always help available to support you, no matter what you are going through.

The checklist

Our mental health impacts our ability to think, feel and behave in a way that helps us to perform at our best – in our personal lives with family and friends, at university, at work, and in the community.

Mental health researchers at the Brain and Mind Centre are working to unravel the topic, sharing research and useful resources to help understand mental health and exploring all aspects of the mental health issues we can experience.

University of Sydney mental health expert Professor Ian Hickie explores the causes of ill mental health, how it can affect us, and what we can do to get help and find solutions in the podcast Minding your Mind.

Open up to your networks, talk to a friend or family member, and share what’s happening in your life. Connect with the people around you and start a conversation with them.

Reach out and talk about your feelings, ask for help and support if you need it. Building healthy relationships and staying socially connected is key to self-care.

Be aware of negative thoughts and don’t give them too much power but if you are not coping and really start to feel overwhelmed, you may want to seek professional advice. It is okay to ask for help and there are a lot of options to choose from.

Headspace services at the Brain and Mind Centre are available to provide professional counselling and support.

Professional and confidential psychological and mental health services are free for students and available through our Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

Has someone you know or care about not quite been themselves lately? Are they more agitated, withdrawn or do they seem to be struggling? If one of your friends hasn’t been acting like themselves in a while, reach out and check in, ask how they are and let them know you are there for them.

Learn more about the signs and when it’s time to ask R U OK? Listen, encourage action and check in.

Alcohol is a depressant drug that can cause anxiety and increase stress. It can also negatively affect thoughts, feelings and actions and can contribute to the development or worsening of mental health issues over time.

The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use offers a range of programs, tools, videos, booklets, and factsheets that provide support and information about substance use and dependence.

The eCliPSE online portal aims to facilitate online screening and eHealth treatments for people experiencing co-occurring mental health and substance use problems, and the clinical services supporting them.

Healthier Drinking Choices Australia is an online tool that gives people the information they need to make careful choices about the role alcohol plays in their life.

So much of mental health is connected to physical health. Get enough sleep, make smart food choices and exercise regularly

Take a closer look at the links between sleep and depression.

Spending time outdoors or engaging in activities that make you feel good can do wonders for relieving anxiety, stress, and depression.

Whether it's playing a sport or pursuing something artistic, doing the things that you love makes a big difference to your overall health and well-being.

Developing new skills and challenging your capabilities is another great way to build your confidence, a sense of purpose and foster connections with others.

We’re here to help

At the University of Sydney there are lots of places where you can find help. Whether you’re feeling the pressure of exams or experiencing other personal issues, support is available for yourself and others both on and off campus.

Making your mental health a priority

Counselling and mental health services

Mindfulness and relaxation

General health and wellbeing

Supporting others

Academic well-being

General practitioner services

Emergency safety

The University of Sydney's counselling  and mental health support services:
(02) 8627 8433 or (02) 8627 8437

Mental health access line: 1800 011 511

Mental Health and Higher Education

Transforming youth mental healthcare

The Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney is working to transform the mental health care of young people. We partner with health services to develop innovative treatments for those aged 12-25 with emerging mental health disorders. The Brain and Mind Centre also works closely with the wider University to support mental health across campus.

“Mental health is one of the most common problems that any of us will face. 1 in 4 Australians will actually face a major mental health problem in their life. The more we study young people, the more we realise these problems come on when you’re young, so 75% of mental health problems start before the age of 25, and about half before the age of 15,” says Professor Ian Hickie, Co-Director of the Brain and Mind Centre.

“We are providing effective treatments so we can make sure people live their most effective lives.”

Suicidal behaviour is a major contributor to death and disability amongst young people with 3-5% of people attempting suicide during their life. The Brain and Mind Centre has youth mental health clinic, headspace, that has already supported more than 250,000 young people in need of help. One of those people is Emerald, who is now 19 and in a much better place.

“I think I can say with confidence, that I wouldn’t have gotten to the point where I am now without headspace,” she says. “I know if I am in a crisis or whatever, I can go there and get some help.”

Other support services

The headspace story - Ian Hickie