Identifying mental health concerns isn’t always easy, so SAHMRI is launching a platform to help South Australians understand themselves better. These four have already tried it.
She is South Australian science royalty, he is a relentless social justice warrior, but like many of us, they have carried more worry and stress about the future since COVID-19.
Today, they share their personal wellbeing results after taking part in the Be Well Tracker launched by SAHMRI for all South Australians to mark Mental Health Week.
The online self-assessment provides individual scores from 0 to 10 on a number of aspects of mental health.
PROFESSOR CAROLINE MCMILLEN
Lives: Eastern suburbs
South Australia’s Chief Scientist
Positive emotions – 6/10
Sense of purpose – 8/10
“I found some food for thought in areas such as ‘resilience’.”
SA Chief Scientist Professor Caroline McMillen is at the frontline of SA’s COVID-19 response team.
She says having a tracker to alert us to the signs of deteriorating mental health early, before it takes a more major toll, was extremely important.
“I think it is helpful to be reminded of the toll that the lack of physical contact and the sharing of life’s small pleasures with close family can take over the periods of separation which many of us have experienced.”
Lives: Southern suburbs
Channel 7 News Adelaide weather presenter
Self acceptance – 4/10
Sleep – 5/10
“We need to do better at being happier with ourselves, because our wellbeing depends on it.”
Channel 7 News weather presenter Amelia Mulcahy says she was not surprised to receive a mid-range score for sleep and needed to acknowledge she was close to burnout, while easing up on being so critical of herself – a common trait of mother guilt. “I know a lot of new mums feel this way – that you’re behind the Eight ball, not doing enough for your child, so I’m sharing this to show you’re not alone.”
Amelia was just getting into the groove of being a first-time mum and had been back at work for two months when COVID-19 struck.
Lives: Western suburbs
Sports MC and radio presenter
Anxiety – 7.6/10
Positive emotions – 6/10
“There are some areas that need addressing to ensure I live a fulfilled and happy life.”
Sports MC Jarrod Walsh was one of tens of thousands of South Australians deeply affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic. After 16 years working with Nova Entertainment, the Workday radio announcer was one of several who lost their jobs.
“I tracked worse than I thought,” he says. “And when I stopped and thought about it, there are some areas that need addressing to ensure I live a fulfilled and happy life.” Walsh says it’s “very easy to become lost in your own mind” but that spending time with family and friends gave his wellbeing a significant boost.
Adelaide City Councillor and co-founder of Zahra Foundation
Stress – 2.4/10
Purpose in life – 8/10
“Having a newborn, I thought I’d be more stressed, but it’s really put things into perspective.”
Young South Australian of the Year, councillor and anti-domestic violence advocate Arman Abrahimzadeh says he feels worried and anxious “even to this day”. He lived through the pandemic worried about the wellbeing of his pregnant wife, quarantined at home in lockdown, and the uncertainty of life for a child born into a world turned upside down by a virus. Add to this, the steep learning curve of a first-time parent after his son was born in August. Arman was surprised to find his Be Well tracker results were not so negative, with better than expected scores for stress and burnout.
“I think being a dad has given me a new perspective in life and reaffirmed what’s really important to me.”
To register for the free Be Well Tracker check-in, visit www.bewelltracker.com
This article is reproduced with permission from The Advertiser.