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A psychologist explains the difference between an anxiety and panic attack


Our Health Check reveals 69% of you are worried about your mental health

The results are in and stress, anxiety, emotional health and mental illness, are your top concerns.

Image: iStockSource:BodyAndSoul

Hey you! Yeah, you. It’s time to talk about what’s really going on.

In case you missed the call out we wanted to check in with you, Australian women, to gauge your health focus and concerns – and over 1,200 of you responded – huzzah!

The data was intriguing and insightful, and we’ll reveal more of it throughout the following months, but for now to coincide with RUOK? Day we delve into just how you feel about mental health. And it turns out it’s your number one concern. In fact, 69 per cent of you are concerned about stress, anxiety, emotional health and mental illness.

While it may seem dire, we found that mental health is rising in importance as your aspiration of material goals and wealth stagnate and shift towards a healthy mind and work-life balance. We are realising that our mental wellbeing is just as important as diet and exercise - amen!

While 72 percent of you rate your mental health as good, very good or excellent, this figure is lower than your personal rating for your overall health – highlighting that we still have much more to learn when it comes to coping with mental illness.

Sadly, those of you who rated your mental health as poor are more likely to believe that a night out needs to include alcohol, are less likely to choose experts and medical professionals for health advice, and are less interested in nutrition and diet, fitness, general health and weight-loss management health information.

It is also interesting to note that this group are more likely to choose less productive ways to manage stress. You’re 20 percent more likely to watch TV to manage stress, 62 percent less likely to exercise, 38 percent more likely to drink alcohol and 55 percent more likely to eat to manage stress.

What’s more, zero percent of this group reach out to friends and family to help them deal with stressful times. Which gives us even more reason to check in with loved ones on RUOK? Day (or in fact any day).

To start the conversation, experts from RUOK recommend being relaxed, friendly and concerned in your approach.

“Help them open up by asking questions like ‘How are you going?’ or ‘What’s been happening?’

"Mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, like ‘You seem less chatty than usual. How are you going?’”

Then listen without judgement, encourage action to seek professional health. After that be sure to check in regularly.