Heath Black speaks on coping with anxiety at Murray Bridge Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo

Mental health is everybody's business, the director of state mental health services in the Murraylands says.

Issues such as anxiety and depression were common, and the more people were willing to talk about them, the better, Simon Moody said at the Murray Bridge Mental Health and Wellbeing Expo on Friday.

"It's not extraordinary," he said.

"Mental health issues happen to all of us at some point during our lives to a lesser or greater extent," he said.

The fact the expo existed at all demonstrated Murray Bridge people's willingness to acknowledge the problem, he said, and showed that people were willing to work together to support people who needed it.

"We talk about stigma in mental health; there's still a degree of that, and and the more that we can do (to remove it), the better," he said.

Dozens of service providers gathered at the city's town hall to offer information about where people could find help if they were struggling to cope, or how to maintain a sense of wellbeing.

Among the guest speakers for the day was ex-AFL player Heath Black, who shared the harrowing story of his drinking, the violence he inflicted, the darkness he endured, his eventual diagnosis with a bipolar disorder and ADHD.

The pain in his head had been worse than a shoulder reconstruction, a hernia or a hip injury, he said.

Trying to understand why he felt the anxiety he did - when it had no logical cause or reason - only made him more anxious.

Instead, he shared a long list of coping mechanisms, including yoga and stretching, relaxing music, hypnotherapy, a diet appropriate to his blood type, "emotional freedom techniques" and helping others.

"In the car, when you're at an intersection, just listen to the indicator: tick, tick, tick, tick," he said.

"Straight away it zooms you back in and takes away all the noise in your bloody head.

"Or sit and count all the white cars that go past you - it takes away all your racing thoughts."

But mindfulness was not the only answer to a mental health issue, he said.

He encouraged anyone who had felt depressed or anxious for two weeks or more to see a doctor.

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