Mental health support group sessions
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]consulting.com.au or on 0438 577 212, or Mrs McLennan at lee.mclen[email protected]mail.com or on 0432 629 589. confidentiality is
Finley’s Lee McLennan (left) with Dr Linda Goddard.