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Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Dealing with mental health issues can sometimes make exploring sex and sexuality a tricky situation, how can you make sure you look after yourself in that journey if you’re having a hard time with your mental health?

Making sure that you use supports that are available to you is really important. Whether that be a doctor, a psychologist, or a trusted friend. Also talking to your partner of course, if you feel comfortable doing so. However sometimes it is helpful to talk about these things with someone who isn't your partner to get some perspective and you might find someone else is going through a similar thing!

 

Also The Action Centre in Melbourne CBD is a great resource for young people in Melb (not sure if other states have the same thing?) - it is almost free service and they have sexual health specialists.

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

I do want to flag, that I don't believe STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are the result of any moral failing or even the result of not being able to take care of yourself due to mental illness. STIs are just infections, no better or worse than all the other infections people pass on to each other (hello colds and flus!).  But our complicated feelings about sex can make some people respond to having an STI really negatively.  Has that been anyone's experience here? 

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

oh @May_ is that the one that's through Family Planning Victoria? Its very youth friendly and caters to lots of different abilities and needs
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Dealing with  mental health issues can sometimes make exploring sex and sexuality a  tricky situation, how can you make sure you look after yourself in that  journey if you’re having a hard time with your mental health?

 

Ummm, make sure that you communicate that with your partner and make sure they're able to understand and support you.

 

idk I think I'm ace so I'm trying Smiley Happy

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

@j95 yes on Elizabeth street in the city Smiley Happy yeah it is very youth friendly - great for young people who need sexual health services/advice but can't talk to their parents about it.

@NurseNettie yeah I think STIs have more of a stigma than infections located in other spots of the body - I guess it is because things related to sex in general are more "taboo" than other things for some reason. Probably also because lots of people fear going to the doctor for sexual health related stuff

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

yeah I agree with you @NurseNettie @May_ there is a stigma attached for sure
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

I'm learning so much for all of you !

 

i think a big part is having a support system outside of your relationship with the person you're sexually active with. And i think thats important for relationships in general not just sexual ones. Its good to get perspectives from people you trust and understand other peoples experiences, talk to a GP or other professional that you trust and have develop rapport with. These kinds of relationships are hard to make but really important!

 

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Next question....

Having support from a partner can be a huge help in dealing with your mental health, so what do you think partners of people with mental health issues should know to make sure they look out for their partners through a sexual relationship?

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Dealing with  mental health issues can sometimes make exploring sex and sexuality a  tricky situation, how can you make sure you look after yourself in that  journey if you’re having a hard time with your mental health?

 

I love this question! And the answer is actually pretty simple although might be hard to get comfortable to do the first few times.

 

Here's some things about exploring sex with mental health issues that i think are important:

 

1. Don't be too hard on yourself, take time and know that (as someone asked in the anonymous questions) things like not being turned on all the time or not being turned on at all are things that happen to everyone!

 

2. Communicate: let your partner(s) know what you need or that you're still figuring out what you need, ask for time, patience and for them to talk through anything that's on their mind

 

3. All the skills you have to work through a tough time apply here, like breathing and distracting if you're worried about getting down to business, it's okay to take a moment to get your head in the right space, its also okay just not to feel like doing sexual stuff and you don't have to if you don't want to!

 

4. If you take medications that might have a side-effect that impacts your sex-drive or your erections, other stuff like that, then have a chat to your doc, it happens all the time and there's lots they can do to help Smiley Happy

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Re: [Special Guest] Sexual Health with Nurse Nettie from Playsafe Australia

Yeah and its not always easy to know where you can to get friendly/understanding/affordable support so that recommendation @May_ for melbourne is great! I dont know that many young people know that is an option for them.