Sam Frost on why ‘it’s okay to not be okay’

After suffering with depression and anxiety, Sam Frost wants to share her best guidance to others experiencing mental health issues.

Anxiety and depression affect more than three million Australians every year, yet 54 per cent of people don’t seek treatment. While many Australians suffer in silence, Home And Away star Sam Frost, who founded mental-health platform Believe, says it’s important to speak up.

“Holding in your emotions, pain and sadness is one of the most damaging things you could do to yourself. I’ve done it many times before,” she tells Body+Soul. “You begin to isolate yourself from the world, then the darkness consumes you and you’re completely surrounded by it. But that’s only going to cause more pain and suffering.”

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According to Frost, who has been open about her struggles with mental health in the past, depression and anxiety can often feel like a heavy blanket, but by opening up to someone, it begins to feel lighter.

“Slowly but surely, with the support of a loved one, you will start seeing the light again and you will get through the challenging time. When I think of depression and anxiety, I see it like being alone in a dark cave, but when you talk to someone and let them in, it’s like they’re walking in with a torch. They hold your hand and guide you out of the cave into the light again. Take small steps, and be kind to yourself.”

While it can be easy to feel like a burden when it comes to asking your loved ones for help, Frost says not to listen to that voice in your head. “Humans are naturally compassionate and kind people – they will want to help and support you,” she assures.

“Whether they’re just sitting and listening or checking in to make sure you’re okay, know that you are never alone. It’s so important to reach out and it’s okay not be okay. If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable reaching out to, there are plenty of free services such as Lifeline, a 24-hour support hotline, who always have kind people waiting on the end of the line.”

If you’re struggling with your mental health, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.