Monthly Archives

May 2017

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.