Mental Health - Byron Bay
At the Bright Side Clinic, we recognise that mental health is about so much more than mental illness. We know that our mental and emotional wellbeing impacts our physical wellbeing, and vice-versa.
As a topic, mental health has become more and more of a focus in our society, and that is a good thing.
What is less fortunate is that there is still a lack of public funding going in to real-world supports for people and their ability to access resources.
What kind of things might someone need support for?
So many things in life tax our psychological and emotional resources. Sometimes it’s something big, like the loss of a loved one. But sometimes it’s lots of little things that build up over time until we just can’t deal with it anymore.
Here are some of the things for which people seek support:
- Loss of a relationship
- Parenting difficulties
- Feeling low or sad
- Feeling worthless
- Inability to enjoy things
- Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep
- Self-medicating with alcohol, prescriptions or other substances
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Suicidal thoughts
- Being a carer for someone with physical or mental health needs
What kind of support is there?
Your GP is a good place to start. They are usually accessible at short notice. GPs can help in a crisis, they can refer you to mental health services, and you might develop a relationship with them that is helpful in and of itself.
MENTAL HEALTH LINE
The community Mental Health line is 1800 011 511. For an emergency, when you are in crisis, or to get you linked in to community mental health services, call this number.
Many people find it helpful to talk to someone on an ongoing basis. There's a wide range of experiential, educational and theoretical backgrounds amongst people who provide therapy. There isn’t a type of therapist or therapy that’s 'better'; what matters is finding someone with whom you connect.
- Psychologists have an undergraduate degree, plus either a Masters or a PhD in order to practice clinically. Their professional body recommends a fee of $250 per session, but there is a broad range of fees.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have trained in psychiatry. Some work in hospitals, some work in the community. There are local psychiatrists who do complete assessments and help guide people as to whether they might benefit from therapy and/or medication.
- Counsellors may have a diploma in counselling, or they may have another, related qualification such as Social Worker before doing further training to provide therapy.
- GPs see a lot of people to talk about how they’re feeling - it is part of physical health and very much a part of general practice. Some GPs have further qualifications in therapy. Even without the official label of 'therapy', many people find that talking to their GP helps them to feel better or to get some clarity about what’s going on for them.
What is a Mental Health Care Plan?
The GP Mental Health Care Plan is part of Medicare’s Better Access to Mental Health Care initiative. It is a written plan that helps you and your GP to work out the specifics of what’s happening for you, what you’d like to be happening, and how we can help you to get there. It also forms the basis of a referral to someone for therapy.
Under this plan, there are several types of practitioner who are eligible to bill Medicare for providing therapy. These include Psychologists, Counsellors and GPs, all of whom require specific qualifications. There is often an out-of-pocket cost involved, and it can range from $15 to $220.
Why should you come and talk to us about your mental health?
At The Bright Side Clinic, we are committed to providing the best in care for your physical, psychological and emotional well-being. We work closely with local psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as the community mental health team.
One of our practice principals, Dr. Emma Coldwell, has an interest in mental health. Her training involved multiple placements in mental health including Emergency Psychiatry, adult in-patient psychiatry, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, problem gambling and substance use. Dr. Emma is qualified to provide therapy under a Mental Health Care Plan - but please don’t feel obliged. Our goal is to help you to find the right person for you to talk to.