The WentWest Primary Mental Health Care (PMHC) team support GPs, psychologists, Mental Health Teams, Inpatient Units, and school counsellors to triage and process mental health referrals from general practice.
Yana* was 21 years old when she was referred to a psychologist under the Suicide Prevention Program. At the time of referral, she was experiencing prominent symptoms of depression and anxiety with frequent suicidal ideations in the context of some recent personal stressors. She had recently broken up with her long-term boyfriend and was also struggling with substance abuse. Her self-esteem had been greatly affected by the breakup, and she reported feeling very low in mood, anxious, agitated, and worthless. She was also struggling to feel motivated and was feeling very lethargic and tired.
Initially, Yana’s psychologist worked with her to provide more structure to her routine and increase her motivation. They then worked on identifying triggers relating to her substance abuse and the impact of her relationship break-up on her self-esteem. Slowly, she regained her confidence and felt more engaged and motivated. A referral was made to Mind Connections, and she was also prescribed anti-depressants by her GP.
Unfortunately, during this time, Yana was assaulted, which caused a significant decline in her mental health. She suffered symptoms
of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but, slowly, was able to work through these symptoms with her psychologist. Eventually,
Yana was able to return to work and university studies and started dating.
Yana is now a teacher in a high school. She is no longer depressed or suicidal, is not experiencing any PTSD symptoms, and is in a
stable long-term relationship.
“Even though I have now ceased sessions with Yana, I still get updates from her, letting me know that she is enjoying life and is happy. The
first Christmas following her referral to me, I received a card from Yana’s mother expressing that she was thankful that her daughter was
alive and able to celebrate Christmas with them. Helping Yana has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and this is what makes
working on the Suicide Prevention program worthwhile. This program has turned out to be one of the most satisfying works I have
engaged with in my career as a psychologist. It can be very challenging at times, but I have witnessed how the difference you make to a
client can be life-changing, not only for the client but for the whole family unit. It has also enabled me to grow as a psychologist and an
individual, as it has made me appreciate the gift of life.” – Yana’s Psychologist.
*Name changed to protect the identity of this client
Read more about the Primary Mental Health Care (PMHC) service and how to access help.
Read more stories from the WW Stories project.