Good mental health allows us to realise our full potential. We’re able to cope with the stresses of daily life, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to our communities.
At every age and life stage, mental health has a powerful influence on our overall health: our emotional state, physical health, relationships and more. Our mental health changes as our lives do.
Biological, psychological and environmental factors significantly impact our mental wellbeing.
Poor mental health can make it difficult to cope at home, school, work, and in life. Mental health conditions include – stress, anxiety, depression, your relationship with food, phobias, self-harm, suicidal impulses and more – but the common characteristic is they all affect a person’s personality, thought processes and social interactions.
At IMI, we believe there are seven critical pillars for positive mental health: mind, emotions, body, environment, sense of purpose, energy, and community. Drawing on our Integrated Healing Model we can work with you or your loved ones to identify and address the pillars that need greater attention to support positive mental health at every life stage.
Our mental health can be affected by
- Difficult life experiences like abuse, trauma and loss. Current events can re-trigger early trauma.
- Substance misuse: drugs, alcohol, addiction to medication. Sleeping tablets are a significant cause of impaired mental health.
- Relationship difficulties: challenges within a marriage; separation; divorce or bereavement.
- Life events: conception, pregnancy and post-partum; change/loss of work or relocation; work-place stress; illness or injury; death or loss
- Long term stress
- A family history of mental health problems
- Genes and brain chemistry.
- Poverty, homelessness and debt
And there’s more. Diet. Exercise. Sense of purpose. The people you connect with and the people you don’t. These and many more seemingly unrelated factors can help or hinder your mental health.
It’s entirely normal to experience stress, anxiety, fear and concern at times. It’s human nature.
Our mood and mental state will vary on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. But, when ongoing signs and symptoms affect a person’s ability to function, it’s important to seek help. Left untreated, the consequences of mental illness can be dire, even fatal.
Most people can recover well or learn to manage their mental wellbeing, especially if they receive appropriate support early on.
The red flags to look out for include but are not limited to:
- Ongoing sadness and bouts of crying
- Dramatic mood changes of highs and lows
- Excessive fears, worries or guilt
- Inability to cope with daily stress
- Sleep problems: sleeping too much or too little
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Disconnected from friends and loved ones
- Major changes in habits: eating, alcohol or drug use, sex drive
- Excessive anger or violence
- Delusions, paranoia or hallucinations
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
If you or someone you know is showing signs of mental illness, we urge to reach out for support. As lonely as you may feel, you are NOT alone. Our mental health practitioners are skilled in supporting people of all ages with a range of mental health challenges. Stress, anxiety and panic. Depression. Your relationship with food. Managing your emotions. Memory decline. Mental health challenges that may arise if you have ADHD or autism.
Our psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and coaches offer a safe space where you can be heard, where you can heal, and where you can grow.
Skilful therapy can even change your adult brain and the way that it’s wired. Past trauma can be healed, old patterns can shift, and new possibilities can emerge.
Our therapists can work hand-in-hand with you to identify the pillars that are crumbling and create a personalised plan to support and strengthen your mental wellbeing.
We recognise the effect of gut health, nutrient imbalances and hormonal issues on mental health. If you’re struggling with bouts of the blues, our naturopaths can help to identify hidden culprits through simple diagnostic testing.
Tailored to your needs, they may prescribe customised herbs, supplements, lifestyle and dietary changes. Based on your symptoms, they may suggest restorative therapies like osteopathy, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy to rebalance energy levels and bolster your mental health.
The following are a mix of resources from various teachers, poets and traditions that have been personally recommended by our counsellors, psychotherapists and mindfulness teachers:
Audio and YouTube:
- Tara Brach talks for beginners
- Guided meditation on fear
- Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD - Mindfulness for Beginners (Audio)
- 5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation (for Beginners)
- David Whyte – The Poetry of Self Compassion and Courage and Vulnerability (both available on iTunes)
- Embracing the Unknown – Pema Chodren
- Self-Compassion Step by Step – Kristin Neff
- The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness
- Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
- Full Catastrophe Living – Jon Kabat-Zinn
- True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
- The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Soygal Rinpoche
- When Things Fall Apart: heart advice for difficult times – Pema Chodren
- The Path of the Yoga Sutras: a practical guide to the core of yoga – Nicholai Bachman
Help for people in crisis
Here are some hotlines and online resources if you’re concerned a friend or a loved one is at immediate risk:
- 24-hour Samaritans multi-lingual Suicide Prevention hotline: +852 2896 0000
- 24-hour hotline at Suicide Prevention Services (predominantly Cantonese-speakers): +852 2382 0000
Local services are stretched at the moment. But don’t give up. Here are some links to additional resources:
Each day, we commit to helping and healing people with mental health challenges. We can help you too. For confidential advice and support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're ready to start talking, our team of psychotherapists and counsellors are here to listen and support you. Connect with us below, and we'll be in touch shortly.
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