Maintaining positive mental health

For people who experience disability, mental illness is unfortunately common. 2020 figures show that for those who experience disability, mental distress is almost five times as likely.

But mental health awareness isn’t just critical for participants. Everyone in this area, including carers, loved ones, and support coordinators may experience burnout at one time or another.

We’ve created a helpful guide to highlight some key ways to take care of your mental health. 


Start with self-compassion 

We tend to be our own worst critics. While it might seem normal to speak negatively to yourself, it could be causing more stress than you realize. 

Self-compassion is a helpful tool to improve mental health and it’s scientifically proven too. 

Studies have shown that those who engage in self-compassion are able to reduce their stress and other psychological conditions. It may even be effective for those living with physical health conditions.


Start self-compassion by:

  • Speaking to yourself as if you were speaking to a friend
  • Using kind words and positive affirmations
  • Remembering it’s okay not to feel okay 


Mindfulness and meditation 

There’s a reason mindfulness and meditation are growing in popularity –– they can be very powerful. 

Mindfulness meditation, for example, has been shown consistently to reduce anxiety, reactivity, and stress in a range of studies.

Deep slow breathing can also reduce stress hormones, improve attention and help mental function.


Practice meditation by:

  • Finding a class or online videos that you enjoy 
  • Using slow deep breaths as an anchor 
  • Setting aside time every day to practice feeling calm


Speak to someone 

We believe that mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health. If you don’t feel okay, it’s important to reach out to others. You’ll soon realize that you’re not alone. 

Speaking to a trusted friend or family member can be very helpful. It’s also worth reaching out to your doctor for advice. 

Your doctor may refer you to a psychologist or other health professional for follow-ups. 

Also, if you have severe mental health challenges, they may be related to a disability. For participants, there can be funding for mental illness in some cases. Find more information here


Remember: it’s okay not to feel okay

Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. 

If you find yourself, or anyone else in distress you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 –– 24 hours, 7 days a week. 

We’re here to help. Reach out to our friendly team on 1300 60 33 89 or at [email protected].