Maja, originally from Poland, is 61 and has recently retired. With more spare time, Maja finds herself thinking back over her life and questioning whether she has been ‘good enough’. She is noticing she is tired, irritable and becoming angry and upset easily. She says this is out of character. Maja notes she is beginning to isolate herself, not wanting to go out with her friends or her grandchildren. She discusses this with her GP who recommends she makes an appointment with the local Next Step Mental Health Coaching program. During the first appointment, the coach suggests cognitive behaviour (CBT) to help her work through what she is experiencing. CBT is a form of guided self-help and offers practical strategies that helps people to work through problems including mild anxiety, depression and day to day life stresses. Maja opted for CBT in person with a coach rather than over the phone. After the six sessions, Maja is much happier and settled. She reports she is better able to manage her thoughts and feelings. She is now exploring other options available to help her to continue to improve her mental health.
Continuing from Level 1Meet Elizabeth and Brendan
Elizabeth and Brendan, the couple expecting their first baby, are now in the third trimester of their pregnancy. Elizabeth tells he midwife that she feels she needs more help to manage the anxiety she is feeling. The midwife recommends she discusses with her GP, MUMentum online therapy program provided by This Way Up. It is especially designed for women experiencing anxiety during pregnancy and is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is the recommended, first-line treatment for perinatal anxiety as well as depression. On researching this program and after speaking with her GP, Elizabeth decides to do the program with the guidance of a clinician provided by This Way Up. This enables her GP to receive reports about her progress which they then discuss during their regular pregnancy check-ups.
Mohan is 56 and presents to his GP with mild symptoms of anxiety particularly in the morning and at work. He finds himself worrying about decisions and things he has never been concerned about. He has difficulty concentrating and feels restless and on edge. As Mohan works full-time, he is keen to explore online mental health treatment options. The GP creates a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan and uses HealthPathways to provide Mohan with e-therapy information. The following week after looking at the information, Mohan sees the GP and advises that he thinks the This Way Up program will assist. Mohan commences with the Coping with Stress course, a free four lesson self-paced course designed to be completed within 2 months, at most. The GP arranges follow-up with Mohan in four weeks’ time. At this follow up appointment, Mohan advises that the course is significantly helped him – “The techniques I am learning, and practising every day, are making me realise I could cope before, but now I am even better able to reduce my symptoms to a manageable level”. Mohan completes the course and at a further review he tells his GP that because the course has helped him so much, he has decided to do another one, Mixed Depression and Anxiety.
Stephen is 36 and has lived with psychoses since his teens. His mental health care is managed by his GP and when required, jointly with a community mental health centre. From time to time, Stephen has required admission to The Canberra Hospital’s Adult Mental Health Unit. Since receiving a NDIS package, Stephen is well on the road to recovery. He recently gained employment for two days a week in garden nursery and is now enrolled in a certificate in horticulture. When seeing his GP to have a script renewed, Stephen discusses with his GP his desire to better control the anxiety he experiences when meeting new people or when he has to do something for the first time. He explains that this began when he first experienced psychosis. After they discuss options, the GP completes a Mental Health treatment Plan and refers Stephen to a psychologist under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative. This scheme provides considerable assistance to people living with mental health problems, allowing them greater access to psychologists and providing more affordable mental healthcare. Under this scheme, Stephen is able access up to 10 individual and 10 group treatment sessions per year. He commences with the individual sessions.