This week is Mental Health Week. World Mental Health Day is on 10 October.
There are some great associated awareness raising campaigns - such as the ABCs "Mental As" (www.abc.net.au/mentalas) and the Promise Wall (1010.org.au).
All of which got me thinking about mental health and family law.
As you can easily imagine family law and mental health go hand-in-hand.
All relationships and families go through difficult times.
But if someone is experiencing depression, stress, substance abuse or any number of other mental health illnesses it can bring about the end of a relationship. Domestic violence, financial problems and the effects of addiction are also frequently named as causes of relationship breakdown.
Even if mental health was not a factor in the breakdown of a relationship dealing with the decision to end a relationship can itself cause stress, anxiety and depression.
There are a lot of organisations out there who offer services designed especially for families experiences mental health issues. Both The Family Relationships Centre and Relationships Australia offer a range of counselling and programs - including ones designed specifically for people who are separating, as well as counselling in relation to family violence and problem gambling. Other organisations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the Financial Counselling Helpline and the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service offer issue specific assistance. In addition there are counselling services such as Lifeline (lifeline.org.au) and the Kids Helpline available to help.