Understand what depression is, know the signs, discover ways to tackle depression and learn about available support.

What is depression?

Mental health issues can affect anyone, and it is estimated that 1 in 4 young people aged between 16-24 have experienced a least 1 mental health issue in the last 12 months, with depression and anxiety being the most common. However, 54% of people do not access any treatment and mental health can be worsened by delayed treatment.

You may be experiencing depression if you have felt felt several of the signs and symptoms listed on this page for more than two weeks.

Signs of depression

  • Ongoing feelings of sadness
  • Withdrawal from people and things you used to enjoy
  • Loss of appetite or comfort eating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A sense of hopelessness and loss of motivation
  • Negative or suicidal thoughts
  • Low energy and ongoing tiredness
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Feeling alone
  • Thoughts that life is too hard.

Coping strategies and support

  • Look at your diet. Small changes can increase positive mood
  • Do activities that are pleasurable to help you feel better
  • Do a little exercise each day. Aim to gradually increase your daily exercise with an app like Couch to 5K
  • Try to prioritise getting a good night of sleep
  • Reach out to friends and your support system, let them know how you are feeling and do something enjoyable with them.

Because depression can lead to thinking and behaviour that is harmful, if your mood does not improve, it is important to seek help. Book a free appointment with RMIT Counselling and Psychological Services.

Online support and apps

  • Smiling Mind or Headspace – Meditation apps that can help by slowing down your thoughts and body
  • Mood kit – This app can improve your mood and manage negative feelings. It helps you to rate and chart your mood, keep a journal and provides mental health tips  
  • ACT Companion – Helps you to let go of depressive thoughts with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • MoodGYM – This online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program is designed to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • MindSpot – A free, government-funded program that provides online assessment and treatment courses and can also help you find local services
  • MyCompass – An interactive self-help app from The Black Dog Institute in which you can track your moods and build resilience. More Black Dog tools and apps can be found here
  • Beyond Blue and Head to health – reputable websites with more information about depression
  • RMIT Counselling and Psychological Services – provide one-on-one counselling for students
  • For more publicly available mental health support, see Community mental health support.
aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.