Understanding men’s mental health issues

Mental health is one of the major health issues for men nowadays. One of the best ways to get a conversation stated about a difficult subject is to open it up with a community awareness campaign.

Some of the best community awareness has been achieved through a week where the media and specialists have engaged with the wider community to highlight a particular issue. This past week was one of them, ‘Men’s Health Week. Men’s health, like every group of people’s is complex and, the past few years, a great deal has been learned and put into the public arena.

There are so many things about mens’s mental health that we are learning and making better known through events like Men’s Health Week and through health and mental health awareness organisations.

The past week was a great time to encourage a better under understanding of one those things, the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

Statistics have never been good when it comes to men’s mental health. Even now, with stigma surrounding it is lessening, little more than 10 per cent of young men seek professional help.

Men, particularly younger men keep quiet if they have depression, anxiety or other issues. One of the most valuable supports they can have is being allowed know it’s OK to talk about it.

Exercise is good for mental health

Just as diet can have an important effect on mental health, so can exercise.

Decades ago it was understood that exercise and physical activity are associated with better results in health treatment. The benefits of exercise began to be known to imporove mental health as well. In fact, some experts claim exercise is as effective as medication and convention psychological therapy in treating Depression. Some even argue it is even more effective!

This can be seen by Australian statistics which show that people with with poor mental health are more likely to have poor physical health, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Physical therapy has been an important part of treatment for these conditions.

Physical activity has also shown to be a helpful compliment to to treatment for addiction. Other benefits of exercise are reducing symptoms of anxiety and better brain functioning.

The awareness of good digestive health on physical health has also been shown to promote good mental health. The same is true with good physical health. It leads to improved mental health as well.

At Retreat South we bring together mental health professionals to for your treatments. Your physical health is looked after too with professionals like an exercise therapist, who form part of your treatment team.

That way the combination of a treatment plan for your mental health, physical health and dietary needs can be be arranged for your recovery.

Call us today to discuss how we can plan a mental,physical and dietary plan that will start you on your path to recovery.

A good diet improves mental health

The importance of diet and the link between the right types of food land our mental health is becoming a big concern.

What we eat has always been an important factor in our general health but what we eat is just as important to our mental health.

Food and mental health has been under the spotlight since evidence emerged two years ago showing that food and diet was as important to our mental health as it is to our heart health.

Just recently honey has emerged as a potential source of improving our mental health.

Honey has a long history of use as a remedy and become a popular alternative to sugar as a sweetener. We were really interested by new Australian research that shows how honey benefits the bacteria in our digestive systems.

The research studied the microbiome, the microorganisms in in our gut. A healthy gut benefits the microbiome which, in turn, keeps us healthier. Some of the work he microbiome does is influence obesity, allergies, illnesses like cancer. It even has an influence on our mental health.

Our gut microbiome sends signals to our brain and influence also serotonin production. serotonin is associated with our mood and feelings of happiness. Honey has been proven in the research to a great prebiotic effect, that is to promote growth of beneficial intestinal microorganisms.
We are so happy to see all this positive research into diet and good mental and physical health. Your diet is an important part of your treatment plan at Retreat South. We believe diet plays an important part of your recovery and is planned as carefully as your treatments.

Understanding mental health

Looking after your own mental health is as important as seeking treatment when you know you have mental health problems.

One of the ways to look after yourself is to know what’s what about keeping your mind as well as your body. Two years ago, University of Melbourne researchers quizzed 16,000 people via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and uncovered an array of  mental health facts the participants did not understand.

Some of these facts were the most common issues encountered. For example, under half the people surveyed did not think that, to recover from anxiety disorders, the things that cause the anxiety need to be faced. Just over half knew that when someone was experiencing delusions, it is best not to try reasoning with them.

A interesting response was that, 98 per cent, knew that exercise was beneficial to relieve depression. Depression is one of the most common mental health issues and the more people know about it and how to do things to treat it shows that the conversations around depression are working.

And another good thing is that those conversations are widening. Individuals and organisations are raisning awareness around mental depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Recently the Transport Workers’ Union has began addressing these issues across the industry. Nearly a quarter of Australian truck drivers experience mental health issues, but less than ten per cent receive treatment.

That is an alarming statistic but, thats to the union’s partnering with Beyondblue, awareness within the industry in a special program, we can look forward to more these conversations.

At Retreat South conversations about good mental health are our business. We take the time to understand you and your reasons for reaching out to us. That way we can plan your treatment with you.

Contact us today and heave a conversation about mental health that can give you the opportunity to heal.

Nutrition to help your recovery

The last of the Summer flowers are are blooming around the gardens at Retreat South. We have a variety of gardens and plants however, and have some that flower in the colder months. But, Autumn and then Winter are on the way. You can see the birch trees in the picture, their leaves turning gold. With the colder months approaching we are planning the menus to make sure the meals served are high in nutrition as well as appetising.

Poor diet during the colder months can even lead to poorer mental health. A study of people living in the Arctic and Subarctic showed a fall in mental health as they changed their diet as their contact with ‘Western’ societies increased. It was things like higher intake of processed foods that had the effect.

The emphasis might seem to be on psychological recovery at Retreat South. But physical care is just as important. Nutrition in recovery and treatment is also important. The food served to you needs to be healthy in order to compliment your treatment. A healthy diet means controlling the foods that might be high in fat and sugars. But, one thing that is not overlooked is flavour and making your meals taste great.  The ingredients always include whole foods, fruit and vegetables.

When you contact Retreat South you talk to us about creating a treatment plan that best suits your recovery needs. When you arrive, you also meet our catering staff and they will talk to you about why foods you like. They will also talk to you about making your meals best fit your nutritional needs during you recovery.

Those needs might change during the process. As things change your meals, like your treatments will adapt to those changing needs.

Take action over trauma and PTSD

Trauma and PTSD treatment for Australian Defence Services was given a boost this week. There was great news in Australia’s Federal Budget for 2017. The government has allocated 350 million dollars toward mental health care and suicide prevention for the armed forces and defence veterans.

A multi-million-dollar injection of funds like this has not been done in decades. The funding will got towards addressing mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.

Trauma and PTSD has become an alarming problem in the defence services. New research into how the the brain adapts and alters in response to stress and trauma gives us a better understanding of PTSD. Trauma survivors often need very different specialist therapies for effective recovery and self-management.

People in the defence forces, emergency services workers are not the only people to suffer from trauma and PTSD. People who have been in abusive relationships or suffered an accident or major illness, for, example, can have PTSD.

At Retreat South, we have specialist programmes and staff to treat PTSD and other trauma.

Contact us today to learn how we can tailor out trauma recovery to help you on your path to recovery.

Pets and your mental health

Pets can have a great benefit on our mental health. Previous generations encouraged pet ownership for their children. They believed pets helped children learn responsibility, empathy and care and duty. It worked two ways as well. With an animal’s instinctive ability to sense and return care and support, they provide companionship and one of the greatest examples unconditional love towards their owners.

Pets can provide a safe-haven for children who may be feeling sad, anxious, lonely or misunderstood. We have all seen how close some people can be with their pets. Studies have shown that bond to be as strong as relationships with human partners and friends.

Making Retreat South South a pet friendly environment was an important decision. We know the importance pets can have in some peoples’ lives and that being able to bring them helps in recovery. We have our own pets at Retreat South, like Chicko the labradoodle. That’s Chicko in the picture.

Animals and pets can provide enormous pathological benefits to us. The benefits are not just psychological. In the UK pet ownership is linked to reduced visits to doctors and reduces costs to the health services there by up to £2.45 billion per year!

This might be evidence from studies that dog owners in particular had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t own a dog. It seems that a pet has a calming effect. With dogs, because they need exercise and get taken for walks, it benefits them and their owner (or whoever takes them for the walks). But the calming effect from owning a dog seems to be that, if you have a dog, your heart rate and blood pressure go up less and return to normal quicker.

Touching pets also appears to be an important factor. Studies have also shown that just patting a dog reduces blood pressure. The studies also showed dog ownership evidenced lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Talk to us today about how we can accommodate you, and your pet, and begin your recovery.

Choosing a retreat to advance wellness

Why choose a mental health retreat?  When we thing of ‘retreat’ we think of ‘beating the retreat’ and giving up. But coming to a retreat like Retreat South is far from giving up. It is actually going forward.

When we think of a specialist mental health treatment like you would find here, the first thing most people think is that they are for the treatment for addiction.

Well that is partly true, many people come to private facilities because of addiction issues. And there are many types of addiction issues too. We usually think of drug and alcohol addiction but in our modern ‘high-tech’ age, we can become addicted to things like the internet and tech gadgets like video games.

Recently the Australian snooker champion Neil Robertson admitted to a serious video game addiction that was impacting on his snooker playing.

So, as there are are many types of addiction, there are mental mental health problems. As the conversation around mental health grows and the barriers toward seeking treatment continues to fall, we learn more about mental health. We learn to understand that things we used to think we had to ‘put up with’ are things that we can overcome by seeking treatment.

But by choosing a ‘retreat’ you are actually choosing an ‘advance’ on your mental health issues.


Have that conversation about mental health

England’s Prince Harry has began an important conversation about the stigma surrounding mental health problems and seeking help for them. The Prince went public about his own mental health issues in dealing with the death of his mother Princess Diana. And royalty continued that conversation only a few days later when his brother, prince William, talked with pop music royalty Lady Gaga about her mental health issues.

In his discussion Prince Harry revealed that he suffered from anxiety and other problems and it was long time before he made up his mid to seek counselling and begin to overcome these problems.

It was a powerful gesture, not only in revealing that counselling helped him personally, but that he hoped others would now find it easier to seek help themselves.

The stigma surrounding mental health has been a significant barrier to people seeking help for anything related to their mental health. But that has been changing in recent times. People who may have initially been worried about their mental health being made public have found that seeking help has been far more important. The burden of the problem often makes it worse for so many people. But as more and more people are seeking help, the stigma decreases.

As Prince Harry says, “the experience I have had is that once you start talking about it, you realise that actually you’re part of quite a big club.”

He said what so many others have said, that keeping quiet about their problems will only make them worse. Stigma plays a big part in holding back but Harry himself says “I can’t encourage people enough to just have that conversation because you will be surprised.”

If you are experiencing mental health then maybe it is time to have conversation and join that “quite big club”.

Teaching teachers about stress and burnout

Workplace stress and burnout among teachers and school principals is on the rise. The year is nearly half-over and Winter is closing in. This is the season when workplace blues can really get too us. But job and workplace burnout is a very real and special type of work related stress. It undermines emotional as well as physical health.

Burnout can leave you feeling exhausted all the time. It can also cause you doubt your ability to do your job as well as fill you with doubts about the value of your work and place in the workplace.

Workplace stress and burnout can effect workers on all levels from young people, just entering the workforce to senior managers and even CEOs. Educators and particularly school principals are a group working in area that presents many challenges and often causes high levels of workplace stress.

Although teachers are passionate professionals the always changing nature of the profession challenges that passion. The ongoing study of Principal Health & Wellbeing cites work pace, emotional demands, having to hide emotions, long working hours and work-family conflict as very high over the last five years.

At Retreat South we tailor our programs to suit your needs and understand that getting a treatment program that suits your work life as quell as your needs is important. We operate all-year-round and can help you with a treatment program to address workplace stress and burnout during school and other term holidays to suit people in the education professions.

Call us today on 61+3 5568 4155 to see how we can help you on the road to recovery at a time that suits you.