After a year of unexpected challenges, more and more families are using our vital mental health services for support.
Providing emotional support to rural people is one of the main focusses of our Wellbeing Place which opened in Broken Hill last year.
The newly rented premises for the Flying Doctor’s Mental Health and Alcohol and other Drugs teams offer the communities in and around Broken Hill an oasis of calm in the heart of the town, along with counselling and therapy. In the next couple of years, a permanent facility will open in town thanks to our generous supporters.
Victoria Quartermain is a Registered Mental Health Nurse and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at the Wellbeing Place and says she looks forward to helping people start the new year with some new coping strategies for times of stress. This is particularly relevant as we move through a pandemic which has created isolation for many.
“We support people with proven therapies, with a focus on promoting a holistic sense of overall wellbeing, which is vital after the challenges of 2020,” she said.
Victoria and her team acknowledge that after the pandemic, normal activities may still feel strange, and for many of us, the desire to pick up old hobbies and habits – a drink at the pub with a mate, a dinner with friends and family – might be tinged with concern about whether it’s really wise to be in close contact with others.
“The unpredictable nature of the pandemic and its sudden arrival in our lives can leave some people questioning whether the world is still a safe place,” Victoria said.
Victoria and her team at the Wellbeing Place are supporting people to reframe their focus and take some time to think about whether the experiences of last year could help inspire positive changes in their lives.
“After 2020, people may have realised they want to spend more time at home with their family, work shorter hours, and exercise more. I often encourage clients to make a list of new habits they’d like to embrace and start implementing them one by one,” she said.
The good news is that the Wellbeing Place team have found that shared experiences of stresses like drought or the pandemic, can bring communities together in a way they may not have experienced before.
Victoria has some tips to support your emotional wellbeing in 2021. Firstly, she reminds people not to believe everything they think.
“Be objective with your thoughts. Just because they belong to us doesn’t automatically make them true, accurate, or helpful,” Victoria said.
Secondly, Victoria says that if nothing in a person’s life changes, there will be no changes to how they feel.
“When I work with clients, I remind them to align changes with their values, as worthwhile change takes planning, commitment, practice, and time, and I am here to help them do that,” Victoria said.
Lastly, she says it is important to spend time in the present moment.
“People who spend a lot of time thinking about the future can become quite anxious, and people who spend a lot of time ruminating on the past often feel quite depressed. Remember to appreciate the moment you are in,” Victoria said.