Head to Health mental health hubs and referral line have been established to support those who need support with their mental health. The initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Health and all NSW and ACT Primary Health Networks.
This year, 73% of people who presented at a mental health service in Western Sydney have also presented with a physical health concern. Mental health is often the secondary concern when there are physical health symptoms but it’s equally important for people to seek support and talk through their concerns.
Pete* chose to access Head to Health because he had heard about their flexible and holistic approach to treatment. Pete had been managing an eating disorder since adolescence and had been in and out of the hospital system most of his life. It was really important for him to access a service that focused on more than just the eating disorder as he moved into the next phase of recovery.
When Pete presented to Head to Health, he had heightened anxiety symptoms and deteriorating physical health. Pete explained that after being diagnosed with an eating disorder, he had gradually noticed additional medical complications and the breakdown of many social relationships.
Pete has been accessing Head to Health peer support and clinical services for 10 weeks to help increase him learn different skills to manage his anxiety and increase his emotional tolerance in social situations. Pete has been working on developing his interpersonal skills and building trust-based relationships with people around him. He stated that he has gained a lot of self-awareness and insight around the root
cause of eating disorder behaviours and has been working hard to challenge himself to participate in new social situations.
Pete’s willingness to learn new skills and show up for himself at sessions has given him hope for the future. In particular, Pete shared
that talking with a peer worker has been immensely helpful in managing his mood and distracting him from damaging behaviours such as over-exercising and restricting his diet.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client.
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