16 November 2011
Minister for Mental Health and Healthy Lifestyles, Kevin Humphries, is urging NSW residents to ‘stress less’ during National Psychology Week.
The call comes in the wake of a new survey by the Australian Psychological Society that found Australians aged 18-25 suffer from higher levels of stress and lower levels of wellbeing than any other age group.
“Many everyday factors can influence stress levels - including relationships, finances, work, home life and health concerns - leading people to be less relaxed and more anxious,” Mr Humphries said.
“Excessive amounts of stress can lead to more serious psychological issues, such as anxiety problems and depression.
“Understanding the psychological and physical health of Australians can help us to manage and support effective ways of handling with stress and wellbeing.”
The APS survey, Stress and wellbeing in Australia in 2011: A state of the nation survey, also found nearly one in three Australians experienced depression, while one in four Australians reported experiencing anxiety.
“These are very high figures which really do reinforce just how important it is for everybody to take the time to invest in their mental health and seek ways to better manage stress and wellbeing,” Mr Humphries said.
“Physical health has a strong impact on mental health, so leading a healthy lifestyle by being active and eating well is an excellent way to help lower stress levels.
“While people may think it helps, eating and drinking alcohol is an ineffective and often dangerous way of decreasing stress levels.
“NSW Health has a range of programs to promote a healthier lifestyle, including the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service which provides a free confidential telephone service to help people make lifestyle changes in relation to healthy eating, being physically active, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”
National Psychology Week is coordinated by the Australian Psychological Society and runs from 13-19 November.