Hand Elis­a­beth Shaw, Clin­i­cal and coun­selling psy­chol­o­gist and CEO at Re­la­tion­ships Aus­tralia NSW

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-being -

loved one seek­ing help.

A carer’s own men­tal health can suf­fer, re­sent­ments can creep in. It’s re­ally im­por­tant to get in­for­ma­tion about how to help your fam­ily mem­ber and to help your­self, with many re­sources now on­line, in or­gan­i­sa­tions like Re­la­tion­ships Aus­tralia, The Black Dog In­sti­tute, Be­yond Blue and Head Space.

In the sec­ond in­stance, you may be hav­ing re­la­tion­ship dif­fi­cul­ties your­self: maybe it’s trou­bled, you have ques­tions about its fu­ture, you have prob­lems

with kids or el­derly par­ents. Later in life, child­hood is­sues and old fam­ily pat­terns can come back to bite us.

Big life changes such as a be­reave­ment, se­ri­ous ill­ness, re­tire­ment or job loss can all take very painful tolls. You might be told to “get over it” or “look on the bright side”. Whether it’s a sud­den life cri­sis or a long stand­ing stres­sor, it can lead to men­tal health is­sues like anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and stress.

Again, out of a hope that it’s just a “bad patch” or telling your­self fam­ily life is full of ups and downs, you might suf­fer for far too long, and sadly this can en­trench prob­lems and push them past the point where change can oc­cur. Of­ten at Re­la­tion­ships Aus­tralia we hear the com­ment “if only we’d got help sooner”.

Talk­ing with a pro­fes­sional who’s neu­tral and where you are free to speak your mind, is very lib­er­at­ing. Some­times get­ting some new in­for­ma­tion, con­sid­er­ing the is­sues from new an­gles, can re­ally pro­vide some new di­rec­tion and hope for the fu­ture.

Fam­i­lies are our great­est re­source. At their best they are at our back, keep­ing us strong and re­silient. How­ever, they don’t op­er­ate well in iso­la­tion. Air­ing is­sues, bring­ing re­sources and new life to new and old prob­lems, can make the dif­fer­ence in achiev­ing strong men­tal health for all con­cerned.

has 70 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence ded­i­cated to re­shap­ing lives, en­hanc­ing re­la­tion­ships within fam­i­lies, work­places and com­mu­ni­ties. It pro­vides coun­selling, me­di­a­tion, and dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and re­la­tion­ship ed­u­ca­tion. To speak to some­one call

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