How much do you know about mental health?

While 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness each year, these conditions are still not widely understood. So how much do you know?

How mental health savvy are you?

This quiz presents some beliefs or statements about various conditions. Indicate whether you agree or disagree to see how well your understanding is.

If you think someone is experiencing depression, it is important to force them to get help even if they don't want to.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    Mental health professionals and people with lived experience of depression believe that unless someone is at risk of harming themselves or others, we should respect their right not to seek expert help. Instead, ask them about the reasons for these feelings. They could be concerned about the cost, choice of doctor, or being sent to hospital?

    Their reasons may be based on mistaken beliefs and you may be able to help them overcome these concersn. If they still don't want help, let them know if they change their mind, they can contact you (or Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you're not available)

    For more information see the depression first aid guidelines from Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA).

  • Disagree

    Correct

    Unless someone is at risk of harming themselves or others, we should respect their right not to seek expert help. Instead, ask them about the reasons for these feelings. They could be concerned about the cost, choice of doctor, or being sent to hospital?

    Their reasons may be based on mistaken beliefs and you may be able to help them overcome these concersn. If they still don't want help, let them know if they change their mind, they can contact you (or Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you're not available)

    For more information see the depression first aid guidelines from Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA).

Exercise can help relieve depression.

  • Agree

    Correct

    Exercise can help improve the symptoms of depression. Both aerobic exercise (which gets your heart and lungs pumping) and resistance or strength-training exercise (such as weights or lunges etc.) may be effective.

    The level of exercise recommended is three sessions per week for at least 30 minutes, done for eight weeks or longer. The best results come when you push yourself a little to what's called moderate-to-vigorous intensity. At moderate intensity, you're working at a level where you can talk but not sing, whereas at vigorous intensity, you'll find it hard to speak more than a few words.

  • Disagree

    Incorrect

    Studies and experience show that both aerobic exercise ( eg. running, walking or swimming) and resistance training (eg. weights, push-ups or lunges)exercise can help improve the symptoms of depression.

    Three sessions per week of at least 30 minutes is recommended for periods of eight weeks or longer. To achieve the best results, push yourself a little to what's known as moderate-to-vigorous intensity. How do you know you're working hard enough? At moderate intensity, you can talk but not sing. At vigorous intensity, you'll find it hard to speak more than a few words.

    For further information see Exercise and Mental Health: An Exercise and Sports Science Australia Commissioned Review.

To recover from anxiety disorders, you must face situations that provoke your anxiety.

  • Agree

    Correct

    Anxiety often persists when avoiding fearful situations. By avoiding these situations you don't get the opportunity to learn you can cope with fear. When feeling anxious, you need to Learn that you can deal with your fear or escape the situation. It's also beneficial  to learn that your fears often do not come true or are not as severe as you thought.

    Treatment for anixety disoder is available at Wesley Hospital.

    For further information see a guide to what works for anxiety from beyondblue.

  • Disagree

    Incorrect

    Anxiety often persists when avoiding fearful situations. By avoiding these situations you don't get the opportunity to learn you can cope with fear. When feeling anxious, you need to Learn that you can deal with your fear or escape the situation. It's also beneficial  to learn that your fears often do not come true or are not as severe as you thought.

    Treatment for anixety disoder is available at Wesley Hospital.

    For further information see a guide to what works for anxiety from beyondblue.

When speaking to someone who has psychosis (symptoms may include abnormal perceptions, delusions and hallucinations), it's best not to offer choices as it can add to their confusion.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    The changes they are facing are profound and can be frightening, it is normal for a person experiencing pyscosis to feel out of control. It's recommended, by mental health professionals and people with personal experience, that it's best to offer choices rather than telling them how you can help, so they feel in control of the situation.

    For further information see the psychosis first aid guidelines from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Correct

    The changes they are facing are profound and can be frightening, it is normal for a person experiencing pyscosis to feel out of control. It's recommended, by mental health professionals and people with personal experience, that it's best to offer choices rather than telling them how you can help, so they feel in control of the situation.

    For further information see the psychosis first aid guidelines from MHFA.

Positive family relationships can prevent a person with a psychotic disorder (such as schizophrenia or delusional disorder) from relapsing.

  • Agree

    Correct

    Studies have shown supportive family environments to reduce relapse for people experiencing psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, in contrast to family environments that express high levels of criticism or over-involvement.

    Treatment for schizophrenia is available at Wesley Hospital.

    For further information on how to support a person experiencing psychosis see the psychosis first aid guidelines from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Incorrect

    Studies have shown supportive family environments to reduce relapse for people experiencing psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, in contrast to family environments that express high levels of criticism or over-involvement.

    Treatment for schizophrenia is available at Wesley Hospital.

    For further information on how to support a person experiencing psychosis see the psychosis first aid guidelines from MHFA.

It helps to let a person with a drug or alcohol problem know that you strongly disapprove of their use of these substances.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    Negative approaches, like lecturing or trying to make them feel guilty, is unlikely to change the situation. Mental health professionals and people who have recovered from substance use agree maintaining supportive relationship is ciritcal if you want to improve their situation and dependance on drugs and/or alcohol.

    Treatment for drug addictions and alcohol addictions is available at Wesley Hospitals.

    For more information on the best ways to assist a person who has drug or alcohol use problems see Helping Someone with Drug Use Problems and Helping Someone with Alcohol Use Problems from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Correct

    Negative approaches, like lecturing or trying to make them feel guilty, is unlikely to change the situation. Mental health professionals and people who have recovered from substance use agree maintaining supportive relationship is ciritcal if you want to improve their situation and dependance on drugs and/or alcohol.

    Treatment for drug addictions and alcohol addictions is available at Wesley Hospitals.

    For more information on the best ways to assist a person who has drug or alcohol use problems see Helping Someone with Drug Use Problems and Helping Someone with Alcohol Use Problems from MHFA.

You shouldn't ask someone if they are feeling suicidal in case you put the idea in their head.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    Asking about suicidal thoughts will not increase a person's risk of attempting suicide. Studies show that asking about suicide actually reduces risk; it allows people the opportunity to share their concerns and shows them that somebody cares.

    Wesley LifeForce have been equipping communities with the skills to prevent suicide since 1995.

    For further information on how to best support a person who is suicidal see suicidal thoughts and behaviours first aid guidelines from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Correct

    Asking about suicidal thoughts will not increase a person's risk of attempting suicide. Studies show that asking about suicide actually reduces risk; it allows people the opportunity to share their concerns and shows them that somebody cares.

    Wesley LifeForce have been equipping communities with the skills to prevent suicide since 1995.

    For further information on how to best support a person who is suicidal see suicidal thoughts and behaviours first aid guidelines from MHFA.

If a person is cutting themselves to cope with emotional distress, you should avoid expressing a strong negative reaction to the self-injury.

  • Agree

    Correct

    Some people harm themselves not because they want to die, but because they feel it helps them manage painful feelings. They may also being using it as a way to punish themselves or to communicate with others. If you have interrupted someone who is deliberate harming themselves, it is best to intervene in a supportive and non-judgmental way.

    Sadness and even anger are common feelings upon finding someone injuring themselves. Despite this, try to remain calm and avoid expressions of shock or anger. Share your concern and ask what you can do to help them. If you or the person harming themselves is in immediate danger, please call emergency services on 000.

    For more information on supporting a person engaging in non-suicidal self-injury see the non-suicidal self-injury first aid guidelines from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Incorrect

    Some people harm themselves not because they want to die, but because they feel it helps them manage painful feelings. They may also being using it as a way to punish themselves or to communicate with others. If you have interrupted someone who is deliberate harming themselves, it is best to intervene in a supportive and non-judgmental way.

    Sadness and even anger are common feelings upon finding someone injuring themselves. Despite this, try to remain calm and avoid expressions of shock or anger. Share your concern and ask what you can do to help them. If you or the person harming themselves is in immediate danger, please call emergency services on 000.

    For more information on supporting a person engaging in non-suicidal self-injury see the non-suicidal self-injury first aid guidelines from MHFA.

It is best to get someone to breathe into a paper bag if they are having a panic attack.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    You've seen it in the movies and it used to be common practice. Having someone breathe into a paper bag to control their breathing may provide temporary relief, it can also distract the person from learning to 'ride out' their panic attack. The most successful treatment of panic disorder requires facing attacks without avoidance. Once they can do this, they'll learn that it will pass and not cause lasting harm.

    In this situation, please try to remain calm and reassure the person they will be okay.

    For more advice on how to best assist a person having a panic attack see the panic attacks first aid guidelines from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Correct

    You've seen it in the movies and it used to be common practice. Having someone breathe into a paper bag to control their breathing may provide temporary relief, it can also distract the person from learning to 'ride out' their panic attack. The most successful treatment of panic disorder requires facing attacks without avoidance. Once they can do this, they'll learn that it will pass and not cause lasting harm.

    In this situation, please try to remain calm and reassure the person they will be okay.

    For more advice on how to best assist a person having a panic attack see the panic attacks first aid guidelines from MHFA.

If someone has a traumatic experience, it is best to make them talk about it as soon as possible.

It is best not to reason with a person having delusions.

  • Agree

    Correct

    Examples of delusions (or false beliefs) include feeling like you're being persecuted (when you are not), are guilty of something serious (that you have not done),on a special mission or under the control of outside forces.

    They may appear bizarre to others, but delusions are very real to the person having them. It's highlighly unlikely they'll be changed by rational persuasion.

    For advice on how to support a person having delusions see the psychosis first aid guidelines from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Incorrect

    Examples of delusions (or false beliefs) include feeling like you're being persecuted (when you are not), are guilty of something serious (that you have not done),on a special mission or under the control of outside forces.

    They may appear bizarre to others, but delusions are very real to the person having them. It's highlighly unlikely they'll be changed by rational persuasion.

    For advice on how to support a person having delusions see the psychosis first aid guidelines from MHFA.

If someone is intoxicated, you can sober them up faster by giving them strong coffee, a cold shower or taking them for a walk.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    The body breaks down approximately one standard drink of alcohol per hour - only time will sober the person up.

    Drinking black coffee, sleeping, walking and taking cold showers will not speed up this process.

  • Disagree

    Correct

    The body breaks down approximately one standard drink of alcohol per hour - only time will sober the person up.

    Drinking black coffee, sleeping, walking and taking cold showers will not speed up this process.

If someone is unconscious after taking drugs, you should lie them on their side rather than on their back.

  • Agree

    Correct

    A person lying on their back can suffocate on their vomit or their tongue can block their airways. By ying them on their side in the recovery position, you will help to keep their airways open.

    Further more advice on how to assist a person who is unconscious after taking drugs can be found in the first aid guidelines for helping someone with drug use problems from MHFA.

  • Disagree

    Incorrect

    A person lying on their back can suffocate on their vomit or their tongue can block their airways. By ying them on their side in the recovery position, you will help to keep their airways open.

    Further more advice on how to assist a person who is unconscious after taking drugs can be found in the first aid guidelines for helping someone with drug use problems from MHFA.

If someone experiencing a mental illness becomes aggressive, they will generally calm down when spoken to firmly.

  • Agree

    Incorrect

    When someone is aggressive, whether or not they're experiencing mental illness or not, the scenario is best helped by remaining as calm as possible to de-escalate the situation.

    Despite images and stories in the media, the vast majority of people experiencing mental illness are not dangerous to others. There is, however, an increased risk of violence when people experience substance use disorders, personality disorders or psychosis.

    For advice on how to de-escalate potentially aggressive situations see the first aid guidelines for helping someone with drug use problems and psychosis from MHFA.

    Treatment for a variety of mental health conditions is available through Wesley Hospital.

  • Disagree

    Correct

    When someone is aggressive, whether or not they're experiencing mental illness or not, the scenario is best helped by remaining as calm as possible to de-escalate the situation.

    Despite images and stories in the media, the vast majority of people experiencing mental illness are not dangerous to others. There is, however, an increased risk of violence when people experience substance use disorders, personality disorders or psychosis.

    For advice on how to de-escalate potentially aggressive situations see the first aid guidelines for helping someone with drug use problems and psychosis from MHFA.

    Treatment for a variety of mental health conditions is available through Wesley Hospital.

Wesley Mission provides a wide variety of services and community programs to help support those who suffer from mental health. The links below will direct you to the right pages where you can read, learn or act on mental health.

Help is available

If you, or someone you know are experiencing a mental illness, help is available at Wesley Hospital. For information regarding treatment, complete an admission enquiry form or call us on 1300 924 522.

If you want to talk to someone about these questions or any concerns you have after answering them, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you or someone you know is in danger, please call emergency services on 000.

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