Seeking Support

Seeking Support

As we continue to navigate the ever-changing world of COVID and while the uncertainty around the economic fallout grows, it’s understandable that many Australians are living with heightened levels of stress, distress and anxiety which ultimately have a negative effect on their mental health.

Throughout history we have seen with economic fallout comes a decline in the mental wellbeing of the community and unfortunately the increase in suicide rates and this can be mapped over economic down turns from the great depression of the late 1920’s to the GFC. A strong indicator of the pressure that the wider community is under is the increase of call rates to crisis support hot lines with Lifeline reporting 15% -20% which had already seen an increase at the beginning of the year with the bush fire crisis on the east coast.

When we consider mental health there is one little known statistic which stands out, only 35% of people living with a mental illness seek clinical support in a 12-month period. This was a disturbing statistic in pre COVID times and even more so now with increased pressure on individual’s wellbeing.

At this point it important to remember that a mental illness is no different to any other physical illness. There are three key stages – prevention, early intervention and treatment and just like a developing physical illness, early intervention is key to preventing someone becoming acutely unwell and supporting a more successful rate of recovery.

There are several factors that present as barriers to individuals seeking support such as cultural, financial, social, geographical, education, fear and previous experiences.

More often than not, it can be a combination of a few factors that prevents an individual seeking support and I see many different combinations. The most common I find are based around education of pathways of referral and the perceived stigma and fear surrounding the experiences of seeking support. I thought we could keep it simple and unpack these.

Pathways and Referral

Pathways and referral process to seeking support for your mental health can start at your local GP. When you meet for your consult with your GP explain how you are feeling the GP will ask you a few simple questions. With these simple questions the GP will make an assessment and set what is called a Mental Health Plan, the GP then will refer you to a health professional either a Social Worker, Mental Health Nurse, Occupational therapist, Counsellor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist.

 With your mental health plan you will have the opportunity to attend 6 to 10 consults with the referred professional and another 10 if the professional believes you require more treatment. One of the silver linings of COVID is that the federal government has made some of these consults available on the Medicare rebate scheme as well as bulked build. This availability via Medicare has removed much of the financial barriers to seeking support.

It’s important to note that the consult with all these professionals are confidential and they are bound by ethical agreements not to share or divulge what is spoken about in sessions unless they believe you are a danger to yourself or another individual or you may be about to commit a crime.

Experiences and Stigma

I am in a privileged position with the work I do that many people freely open up about their mental health and the perceived stigma related to seeing a mental health professional.

I am in a privileged position with the work I do that many people freely open up about their mental health and the perceived stigma related to seeing a mental health professional.
When encouraging an individual to seek support I like to bring it back to basics, back to health not mental health, just health. I predict that at least 80% of all Australians aged between 16 – 86 have seen a health specialist in their lifetime, anything from a dentist to a physiotherapist or a cardiologist for either prevention, early intervention, or treatment. Each of these professionals is there to assess, diagnose and set a wellness plan. This is no different to a mental heath professional, they assess with a series of questions just like a physiotherapist would about a hamstring injury, “How long have you felt like this?” “When did you first notice this?” “When is it most noticeable?” “What makes you feel well?” and just like a physio together you work on plan and series of actions and strategies to support the individual becoming well.

This simple step can remove so much of the fear related to seeking support and in some cases assist in an individual taking the vital step for support.

It’s more important than ever to keep your mental health a priority and stay connected with friend’s family and work colleagues. We need to have open and positive conversations around mental health at home and in the workplace.

If you do notice changes in your thinking, feelings, behaviours and physical wellbeing which last more than a two-week period please reach out for support from a health professional.

If you are experiencing a crisis and need immediate help please contact one of the services listed on our Crisis Support Page CLICK HERE

Lifeline Classic

Lifeline Classic

29th March 2020 –

Man Anchor is excited to announce that we have been invited back to be a part of the Lifeline Classic which is a festival of surfing and mental wellness.

Man Anchor will be entering a Tag Team made up
of four surfers to battle it out in the water all in the name of raising
awareness around mental health and to support the inspirational work
Lifeline Northern Beaches do everyday via their 24 hour crisis support
and suicide prevention line answering over 900,000 calls a year.

Team Man Anchor includes former World Champion Damian Hardman, Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden , Surfing Nsw GM John Shimooka and Ricky Royle

The cost of running such an organisation is immense so events like this
offer a great opportunity to raise funds. I would really appreciate
your support in helping TEAM Man Anchor raise as much money as possible
to support their vital work.

Please see the link bellow and go to the Man Anchor team page to donate. Please note all donations are tax deductible!👏🏻

78 MR replica hand shaped board by Yugen Surfboards

To help with fund raising we have some fantastic prizes which include an unbelievably sexy 78 MR replica hand shaped board by Yugen Surfboards
worth over $1,800, we also have the fantastic opportunity for a BBQ to
be hosted at your home or at your work place by myself & the legend
and Founder of Gotcha4Life Gus Worland to promote positive mental fitness & wellbeing.

Every donation over $20 will receive one entry and every donation over $50 will receive 3 entries.

Thank you in advance for your support and please share. “A simple conversation could potentially save a life”

Lifeline Northern Beaches 2020 Lifeline Classic


lifeline classic

A Simple Conversation

A Simple Conversation

A Simple Conversation

What would you say if I told you that you could potentially change a friend or loved one’s life forever or EVEN save their life.

Are you serious? How?

The fact is we all can make a difference by starting simple conversations with our friends and family about mental health.

It’s a frightening statistic that1 in 8 males and 1 in 5 females will struggle with either anxiety or depression. Knowing these statistics, stop for a second and think about the people in your life. There is a high chance that someone close to you is struggling with a mental health condition. Many of us assume that the people in our lives know we are there for them if they ever need to talk. However, the truth is, in most cases people struggling with mental health conditions are so overwhelmed by their situation they cannot see that you are there to help.

I was once told by someone who had struggled with depression to squint my eyes and block my ears and he started talking to me. The sound was muffled, my sight was blurred and unclear, he then proceeded to say, “That’s what it was like for me”. He believed he had people there for him but just didn’t know who or how to ask for help? That was until he had a friend reach out to him and say they had noticed changes in him, they were concerned, and were there to listen, support and stand by him.

Similarly to cancer, mental health conditions can affect anyone, no one is immune. You may have people in your life that on the outside may appear to have the perfect life however everyday life pressures can affect anyone.

Here are a few simple ways to start “The #letstalk conversation”:

  • “I read an article the other day about mental health. Surprisingly, 45% of all Australians will struggle with a mental health condition in their life! If you or anyone you may know of needs to talk please know I’m here to listen and support you.”
  • “Guys, did you know 1 in 8 men suffer from either anxiety or depression in a 12-month period? Boys, you know if any of you need to talk I’m always here. I’m not going to judge, just help.”
  • “Girls, did you know 1 in 5 women suffer from either anxiety or depression in a 12-month period? Please know that if you ever feel the need to chat, I’m here for you.I’ll never judge, I’m just here to help and support you.”
  • “Babe, I’ve noticed that you haven’t been yourself lately. I want you to know that I’m here for you, just as you would be there for me. We’re a team and there is nothing we can’t talk about or resolve together.”

If you do have someone reach out to you don’t panic! Let them know that you are there to support them and be by their side. Make an appointment to see their local GP and show your support by going along to the appointment. The GP will help set up a plan to address their current situation. It’s important to remember that mental health issues are medical conditions that can be treated with consultation and planning from medical professionals.

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