Building Mental Health Resilience: Insights from a Family Therapist - 96five Family Radio

Building Mental Health Resilience: Insights from a Family Therapist

Developing mental health resilience requires self-awareness, intentional choices, and proactive measures, says Teresa Jackson.

By Steff WillisTuesday 5 Mar 202452Q with Steff & MicahHealth and WellbeingReading Time: 2 minutes

In a world that constantly demands our attention and energy, maintaining robust mental health resilience has become a vital pursuit.

According to recent statistics, a staggering 43% of Australians will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime, while 21% have faced mental health challenges in the past 12 months.

These numbers underscore the urgency of addressing the question: How can I build my mental health resilience?

To shed light on this important issue, the latest episode of the 52Q podcast with Steff and Micah welcomed Teresa Jackson, a Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience specialising in family therapy, trauma recovery, and mental health capacity building.

“It’s a very busy world we live in now” Teresa said.

“People do a million things at once. If you overload yourself and you have a mental illness, or even if you’ve got a disability… and you’re not leaving yourself enough space, then you put yourself potentially higher at risk.”

Assessing Risk Factors

Teresa emphasizes the significance of assessing risk factors as the starting point for building mental health resilience.

“The first place I always start is, looking at and mapping out what are the things that cause you the most risk” Teresa said.

“One person might suddenly start feeling, you know, like their chest is really tight. They suddenly start feeling like they just can’t cope. Acknowledging these feelings and signs can help us boost our mental health resilience.”

Identifying areas of vulnerability allows individuals to construct a personalized recovery kit tailored to their specific needs. This kit serves as a proactive measure to navigate potential challenges and maintain mental well-being.

Understanding Triggers and Building a Recovery Kit

Once you have a solid understanding of your risk factors, you can work on building a recovery kit.

“A Recovery Kit is about helping people to feel that they can manage. In that Recovery Kit is what helps that person to maintain their mental health and deal with different situations.”

While it’s personal to each individual, a recovery kit could include breathing techniques, mindful exercises, limiting intake of caffeine, energy drinks and alcohol as well as sleep hygiene and staying connected to your therapist.

“Sometimes journaling can be effective for some people” Teresa said.

“Keeping a journal, it can just be basic – writing down stuff. I would say if you’re a person that’s creative… that’s something I’ve helped clients with recently is encouraging them to express themselves in creative ways”.

Listen to the full episode with Teresa Jackson in the player below.

Feature Image: Joice Kelly on Unsplash