This is part B of the blog article Stuck in the Mud – GET ME OUTA HERE! And follows on from information about depression and anxiety…
It is good to know that treatments do exist and can help – the first step is to make an appointment to see the GP; asking for a double appointment to discuss a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHT Plan). At the appointment, talk with the GP about what you have been experiencing and let them know you are there to seek some help.
Just as all people are different, so too are the types of mental health issues, their impacts and treatments so the GP will do an assessment and depending on the outcome may develop a MHT Plan including suitable treatment recommendations.
Psychological treatments (talking therapies) have been found to be an effective way to help recovery from anxiety or depression and help prevent a recurrence – when referred by your GP you may be eligible for Medicare rebates.
At QPP, we recognise that it can often be difficult to take that first step – especially if you are feeling ‘stuck in the mud’. Here is an action plan list that may help:
- Make a list of feelings and or behaviours, then include the ways these have been impacting your life (the signs and symptoms at Beyond Blue website might be helpful here if you are feeling stuck).
- Put your list in a safe place
- Choose a day and time that you are going to phone the GP to make an appointment – write down that day/time onto your diary/calendar/note reminder. Research shows that by writing tasks down we are more likely to follow through.
- Phone the GP on the day you have nominated – ask for a double appointment and if you feel comfortable, let the receptionist know it is to talk about a Mental Health Treatment Plan. Write down the appointment date/time in your diary/calendar/note reminder.
- Congratulate yourself for achieving this step!
- Make a list of all the things that might get in the way of you attending the appointment (barriers) – then against each of these write down what you could do to overcome them. Ask a friend for help if you need to….if you think your anxiety might stop you from attending….maybe a friend could pick you up and go along to the appointment with you. You could also check out some of the above websites for some tips such as relaxation or breathing exercises.
- Set a reminder for the GP appointment AND to remember to take along the list of feelings and impacts. If you get stuck at the appointment and don’t know what to say– you could hand over the list to help the conversation. Take along a pen and some paper to make notes.
- Before leaving the GP appointment, ask if you could be reminded of what you should do next and ask for some time to write that down.
- Congratulate yourself on this BIG achievement and look forward to the next steps in getting some help.
Remember – effective treatments are available. The earlier you seek help the better.
At QPP, we are continuously developing referral pathways for supports – including psychological professionals who are HIV knowledgeable and supportive. Some of these professionals offer bulk billing sessions for people with Concession Cards who are referred under a Mental Health Treatment Plan. We would be happy to provide details if you are interested so please feel free to make contact.
If your feelings or behaviours have been impacting your access to HIV care and treatment, our Program Staff would be happy to talk further with you about assistance to access mental health or other support needs.
If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of suicide, please phone 000
If you are experiencing crisis and need to speak with someone right away please contact any of the following counselling services:
OR Attend Accident and Emergency department at your local Hospital.