Men­tal health sup­port group ses­sions

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

An eight week pro­gram aimed at im­prov­ing lo­cal ac­cess to men­tal health care will be held in the South­ern Rive­rina start­ing in March.

The Anx­i­ety and De­pres­sion Ed­u­ca­tional Sup­port Group will be run by Al­bury based doctor Linda God­dard, who ran a sim­i­lar pro­gram in Oc­to­ber 2017.

Group ses­sions will run once a week for three hours at the Finley RS Club, and will cost $50 per ses­sion.

The ses­sions look at a whole range of men­tal health con­di­tions in­clud­ing symp­toms, com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gies, chang­ing think­ing styles, stress man­age­ment, sleep, be­hav­iour, and motivation among other top­ics.

Finley-based ses­sion co­or­di­na­tor Lee McLen­nan said they were started be­cause she saw a need for these ser­vices in the lo­cal area.

‘‘Ac­cess to men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als can only be ac­cessed in Al­bury or other larger towns,’’ she said.

‘‘Linda is pas­sion­ate about pro­vid­ing men­tal health ser­vices in ru­ral ar­eas where peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­ence a range of con­di­tions of­ten have to man­age their ill- ness, to a cer­tain de­gree, on their own.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately, many peo­ple do not ac­cess the sup­ports they need to move for­ward with their con­di­tion, of­ten re­cov­er­ing with the right sup­ports.

‘‘The group mem­bers sup­port each other, prob­lem solv­ing to- gether while learn­ing about the chal­lenges in­di­vid­u­als face with dif­fer­ent symp­toms, they iden­tify in­di­vid­ual goals and ap­proaches to mak­ing changes that re­sult in pos­i­tive out­comes.

‘‘Pre­vi­ous par­tic­i­pants have talked about the sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment where re­spect is shown and main­tained.’’

The Anx­i­ety and De­pres­sion Ed­u­ca­tional Sup­port Group has re­ceived sup­port from Finley Ro­tary Club, which has of­fered to spon­sor some­one who may like to at­tend but can­not af­ford the ses­sion fee.

Mrs McLen­nan said she would wel­come sim­i­lar of­fers of sup­port from any in­di­vid­ual or club that may be in­ter­ested.

Dr God­dard has a back­ground in teach­ing men­tal health to nurses and other health pro­fes­sion­als at Charles Sturt Univer­sity.

She also pro­vides one-on-one coun­selling in Finley and is pre­pared to travel to sur­round­ing towns if re­quired.

The first meet­ing will be on March 5, at the Finley RS Club.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion con­tact Dr God­dard at [email protected]­con­sult­ or on 0438 577 212, or Mrs McLen­nan at lee.mclen­[email protected]­ or on 0432 629 589. con­fi­den­tial­ity is

Finley’s Lee McLen­nan (left) with Dr Linda God­dard.

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