For many Australians, life after a heart attack will never be the same.

Tragically, two-thirds of people endure severe anxiety following a cardiac event. Urgent improvements are needed for treating people’s hearts and minds following these devastating events.

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We know that heart health and mental health are closely linked. In fact, feeling down after a heart attack is so common there’s even a name for it: “cardiac blues”.

Clock icon every 9 minutes
Every 9 minutes an Australian will end up in hospital with heart attack symptoms.
 Icon 2 in 3 people
2 in 3 people experience severe anxiety after a cardiac event.
Icon illustration symbolising one in five people
1 in 5 meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression.

We need your help

With your support, we can continue to fund ground-breaking research that drives real progress towards a future free of heart disease. Donate today.


Can help fund support programs run by the Heart Foundation for people who are living with a heart condition.


Could pay for an exercise stress test to research the heart’s function and response to exercise, a crucial diagnostic tool used by clinicians.


Can help fund research on new therapies to further improve recovery and survival following a cardiac emergency.

Nadene survived a SCAD heart event

When Nadene survived a SCAD heart attack at 48 years old, she was considered one of the ‘lucky ones’.

Survivor of a SCAD heart event Nadene, smiling and holding her heart

What’s life going to look like for me now?


Heart attack survivor

Even for a lucky survivor like Nadene, adjusting to life post-heart-attack proved a real struggle.

Read more

Collage of images of Nadene who survived a SCAD heart event

What is a SCAD heart attack?

Arm of patient (Nadene) after a SCAD heart attack

A spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a condition where a tear forms in the wall of a heart artery causing slowed or blocked blood flow to the heart.

With no known cause, SCAD heart attacks most commonly affect women in their 40s and 50s, often with no existing risk-factors for heart disease.

A generous donation to the Heart Foundation can help fund research to drive progress in the fight against heart disease and support people like Nadene in their recovery.

Professor Adrienne O’Neil is pioneering research into the intricate links between heart health and mental health.

Professor Adrienne O'Neil

Heart health and mental health are really intricately linked.

Professor Adrienne O’Neil

Deakin University researcher supported by the Heart Foundation

My area of research interest is looking at the relationship between mental health and heart health, and the shared risk factors, pathways and interventions that could treat both.

Read more

A safe place to connect

Those who have experienced a cardiac event know all too well how feelings of anxiety and isolation can last long after the physical symptoms have subsided.

The Heart Foundation’s My Heart My Life online peer-support program provides a safe space for people living with heart disease to connect, share tips to live a heart-healthy life, and be reassured that there is hope after the heartache.

Donate now to help support programs like My Heart My Life or register to join the My Heart My Life community.

Nadene on the MyHeart MyLife peer support page