COVID-19 has had a significant impact on mental health in Australia, with lockdowns, job scarcity, financial instability and isolation all contributing factors to people’s wellbeing. Head to Health mental health clinics and a referral line were established to support those whose mental health may be suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Health and all NSW and ACT Primary Health Networks (PHNs). WentWest, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network (PHN), is proud to have launched two Head to Health hubs in Western Sydney to ensure that community members of all ages and backgrounds have access to mental health support.
Susan* was referred to the Head to Health Hub in Seven Hills after presenting to her local GP surgery with symptoms of stress caused by work issues. Her GP suggested she take some time off work and contact the Head to Health Phone Line for further support. Susan spoke with the Head to Health team and described how her mental health had deteriorated whilst working from home during the public health restrictions without her regular routine to help her cope.
During her appointments at the Head to Health Hub, clinicians helped Susan practice her problem-solving and communication skills in preparation for a meeting with her manager to resolve some of her concerns. Susan gained the confidence to voice her problems and was able to negotiate a gradual return to work plan and was assigned a new line manager as a result. ‘I now have hope for the future and am excited about what the new year will bring’ – Susan.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of this client.
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