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Mental health tip
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Keeping families healthy

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Every family goes through stressful times occasionally. Learning different ways to cope with stress as a family and better ways to communicate with each other are good strategies for getting things back on track. These are some things you can do to help your family work through difficult times together.

  • Make time for family

    Life can be very hectic and it’s all too easy to take those closest to us for granted. It’s important to prioritise your family even when it’s hard to find the time.

  • Keep communication lines open

    Whether it’s tackling big issues or just dealing with the day to day stuff, keep talking! Sharing thoughts, feelings and problems with those close to you helps to keep relationships strong and shows your support for each other.

  • Plan healthy and rewarding activities together

    Sharing important and meaningful activities, can help families stick together. Those activities can easily fall by the wayside when families are under the pump. If your family is going through a stressful period, plan some rewarding activities together – they don’t have to be fun, just important for your family.

  • Stay connected to friends

    It might seem odd but a great way of improving your relationships within your family is to make sure that your outside relationships are healthy as well. In the same way that friends are an important source of support for individuals, communities are important supports for families. Get your family involved in school, sporting or other community groups.

  • Work out what’s important

    If you're stressed and overwhelmed, re-evaluating what’s really important to you in the short term might allow you to take some pressure off your family. Talking through what’s important and what can wait gives you breathing room and a sense that you’re working together.

Why is my family struggling?

There may be some good reasons why your family is having problems. Maybe you’re dealing with a major life change, the kids are being a handful, your relationship is going through a rough patch or maybe a family member has developed a mental health problem. Mental health problems don’t just affect the individual; they can also impact on the lives of partners, parents, siblings and children. If you're a family member of a serving member or veteran, you might want to find out more about how service, deployment and readjusting to civilian life can affect your mental health. This website provides information about mental health and wellbeing as well as information about mental health disorders and their treatment. It will help you understand the effects that mental health problems have and, importantly, what you can do to manage and recover.

Recognising the signs - what is my family member dealing with?

There are sections of this website where you can find a whole lot of information about different mental health concerns. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a guide.

Feeling down
  • Feeling flat
  • lacking energy
  • Nothing feels fun
Feeling anxious
  • Worrying all the time
  • Panic attacks
  • Hiding from the world
Troubled by memories
  • Having nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Blocking out reminders of trauma
  • Grieving
  • Mourning
  • Feeling sad and lonely
  • Feeling frustrated
  • Wound up
  • Agro
  • Difficulties with alcohol
  • Bingeing
Drug use
  • Difficulties with drugs
  • Doctor shopping
Taking risks
  • Taking risks
  • Acting without thinking
  • Risky sex
  • Losing too much money
  • Gambling out of control
  • Feeling desperate
  • Hopeless
  • Thinking about taking their life
  • Getting into fights
  • Hurting the ones they love
Poor sleep
  • Restless nights
  • Nightmares

You might be struggling with some of the same big issues that affect military families. This section of the website presents information on some of the big issues that family members of serving defence members, ex-serving members and veterans can face.


  • "The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
    William James
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