Fo­cus on well­be­ing

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Pil­bara res­i­dents’ men­tal well­be­ing has been tested for the past few years as the re­sources down­turn takes its toll on in­come and liveli­hood.

In re­sponse, the Pil­bara Health Net­work has started run­ning weekly group ses­sions aimed at com­bat­ing feel­ings of stress, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion.

Kar­ratha Cen­tral Health­care men­tal health clin­i­cian John Hop­kins said the first ses­sion, held ear­lier this month, gave at­ten­dees the chance to ex­press what they wanted to dis­cuss dur­ing the ses­sions.

Among is­sues raised for dis­cus­sion were the usual sus­pects for coun­try towns such as iso­la­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

Also raised were is­sues which have come about be­cause of the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate, in­clud­ing de­pres­sion and stress man­age­ment.

“I have been work­ing as a men­tal health clin­i­cian in Kar­ratha since Jan­uary this year. In this short while the num­ber of clients seen have re­flected the high lev­els of stress and anx­i­ety that do per­sist,” Mr Hop­kins said.

“Stress and anx­i­ety could well lead to forms of de­pres­sion that be­come prob­lem­atic and could neg­a­tively af­fect the per­son and their im­me­di­ate fam­ily in pro­found ways.”

OzHelp project of­fi­cer Sarah Boagey said to have ser­vices in town gen­er­at­ing sup­port groups was fan­tas­tic news.

“Any sup­port around men­tal health in a re­mote area is ben­e­fi­cial,” she said.

“The more op­por­tu­ni­ties peo­ple have to ac­cess ser­vices, the more likely they are to at­tend.”

Mr Hop­kins said the new group dy­nam­ics ses­sions would ad­dress stress, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion through in­for­ma­tion, psy­chother­apy and coun­selling.

The ses­sions will be held ev­ery Wednes­day from 6pm at Kar­ratha Cen­tral Health­care.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Kar­ratha Cen­tral Health­care men­tal health clin­i­cian John Hop­kins.

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