With 1 in 2 people affected by a mental disorder in their lifetime, there’s a good chance that many CBHS members will be affected. One of the programs CBHS provides is our Mental Health Program. This program is free to any member that holds a hospital level of cover or packaged product. This is mostly a telephonic support program (however, on a case by case basis, there may be the option of face to face sessions) provided to members who are experiencing stressful issues in their lives or have a clinical diagnosis of a Mental Health Issue. This program is not a substitute for medical treatment but works collaboratively with a member’s medical service provider to give our members the best opportunities for optimal recovery.
Recently, CBHS Health Fund presented a showcase of our Wellness Programs in Sydney. It was a very successful event. With one of my previous roles being a Mental Health Nurse in acute facilities and Community settings, I fielded many questions around Mental Health Issues.
Many carers of people with mental health issues are unaware of the other resources available to assist them with the care of a loved one. This was the case with one such CBHS member I connected with at the showcase.
Violet (pseudonym) approached me about her sister, Anna (also a pseudonym). Two years ago, Anna was an intelligent university student undertaking a Journalism degree. Anna was very social, vibrant and caring towards others. During Anna’s second year at university she had begun distancing herself from friends and becoming more withdrawn. Violet tried to convince Anna to attend her GP but Anna always said “there was nothing wrong with me”. This was extremely frustrating for Violet as she could see that there was an obvious problem. Violet had attended her own GP for advice and was told that her GP “could do nothing as she wasn’t his patient nor would she come in and see him”.
This is where some carers “hit a brick wall” with trying to help their loved ones. I advised Violet to document, document, and document! Violet needed to write down what she has experienced with Anna to give an accurate account to Mental Health staff of what had transpired over the last two years. I then suggested that Violet contact the Community Mental Health Team in her area. Violet was unaware of both of these options prior to our conversation.
Community Mental Health Teams are a wonderful service with kind and professional staff that can come to a loved one’s home and attempt an assessment and provide further advice in situations such as Anna’s.
Unfortunately, this may not be the case for someone who lives a great distance from services such as these. CBHS Health Fund is fully aware of this regional issue and is one of the reasons we have partnered with a provider who can support our members with a telephonic service.
If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health issue, please contact me directly atSamuel.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 654 123 and I can advise you on options for assistance.
Please remember you can contact us at any time if you would like to check that you have adequate cover for a mental health admission or support program.