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The Florey marks World Mental Health Month by shining a light on the mental health pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to challenge the daily lives of many people, a team of Florey researchers explored the impact on our mental health and that of our children and future generations in an online webinar for World Mental Health month.

The Florey’s Institute’s Mental Health Theme Head and webinar keynote, Professor Andrew Lawrence emphasised that with one in four people living with a mental health illness, it is more vital now than ever that we invest in a deeper understanding of mental health and in developing treatments.

"This pandemic is a chronic stressor with no obvious end and we need to explore how this will exacerbate other mental health conditions” said Prof Lawrence

The effects of social isolation and long-term impacts, genetic vulnerabilities to mental health disorders, and the need for individual focused treatment for stress-related disorders were covered in the webinar by Florey neuroscience and mental health researchers.

“We need more fundamental basic research into the neural mechanisms that underpin mental health research to enable the discovery and validation of new more targeted therapies. Thankfully the Florey houses a dynamic group of scientists who are committed to understand the underlying drivers of mental health issues and translating these into actionable outcomes,” said Prof Lawrence.

 

The Florey mental health researchers top tips for maintaining mental health include:

  1. Self-care and carving out time for yourself. While it may be hard find time for yourself, it’s important to reflect on your core values and needs and prioritize this.
  2. Staying physically active. Exercise can be a great stress relief but its more than simply putting in the time. Consider changing your daily exercise routine by walking in a different environment and take advantage of all your senses.
  3. Find what coping mechanism works best for you. What works for others, may not work for you, tailor your individual coping mechanism to your needs.
  4. If you need help, reach out to a professional like your GP. Lifeline Australia offers crisis support on 13 11 14.

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