October 10 is World Mental Health Day, where across the world we reflect on our own mental health, as well as that of our communities, friends, family and others we care about.

Supporting your own mental health is vital so that you can live a healthy and productive life that is rewarding and satisfying.

Sadly, as I reflect on the mental health in our communites, I am aware that good mental health is not the norm, and that many people suffer from serious mental health conditions such as depression, bi polar, anxiety and other mood disorders.

Mental health is one of those things that has a ripple effect. If you have a family member that is suffering from poor mental health, it’s almost impossible not to be impacted in some way by your loved one’s condition. And so this ripple effect moves through families, friends and into our communities.

One of the best ways to support the mental health of others is to begin with looking at your own mental health. To support you in this, we’ve created a mental health check list, so you can reflect on the different areas of your own mental health and determine what might need some attention.

Below is the Sphere checklist, which was developed as part of a national mental health educational project aimed at increasing GP’s rate of identification, effective treatment and management of common psychological disorders like depression. This scale takes into consideration how a person feels, thinks, behaves and what physical symptoms they have.

To calculate your score, add 1 point for each of the points below that fit for you.


1.  Stopped going out
2. Not getting things done at work
3. Withdrawn from close family and friends
4. Relying on alcohol and sedatives
5. Stopped doing things you enjoy
6. Unable to concentrate
7. “I’m a failure”
8. “It’s my fault”
9. “Nothing good ever happens to me”
10. “I’m worthless”
11. “Life is not worth living”
12. Overwhelmed
13. Unhappy, depressed
14. Irritable
15. Frustrated
16. No confidence
17. Guilty
18. Indecisive
19. Disappointed
20. Miserable
21. Sad
22. Tired all the time
23. Sick and run down
24. Headaches and muscle pains
25. Churning gut
26. Can’t sleep
27. Poor appetite/weight loss
What does my score mean?
If you scored 3 or more of the above symptoms, you probably have a depressive illness.
What should I do about my score? 
It is important to note that this checklist provides only a rough guide as to whether someone has a disorder. For a full diagnosis, it is important to see your G.P. for a professional assessment and seek the support of a professional counsellor or psychologist.
Australia Counselling links you with professional counsellors, therapists and psychologists across Australia. Click here to start a search for a counsellor in your local area today.
Source: Hickie, Scott, Morgan, Sumich, Naismith, Davenport, Hadzi-Pavlovic and Gander (2000). 
Sphere: A Depression Management Program. Educational Health Solutions.

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