From the most recent census, the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that people on the Mid-North Coast experience a higher rate of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, than the NSW and national average. Healthy North Coast report that rates of psychological distress in our region are above the state average.
With all this is mind, are people actually able to access the best local mental health support? Anecdotally, at least, it appears that people don’t know where to turn, and when they get some direction, they’re met with long wait times. In Port Macquarie, people report waiting months to see a psychologist and longer for a psychiatrist. The staff at the acute mental health ward at Base Hospital are worked off their feet helping patients who are often at high risk of self harm.
With mental health support services at capacity, counsellors in Port Macquarie are an under-utilised, yet important part of the jigsaw puzzle in meeting the community’s needs for depression and anxiety support, alongside helping people cope with grief, anger management, emotional pain and relationship conflicts.
For example when people contact me, I go out of my way to see them within 1 week of their initial enquiry. When you are suffering, you don’t want to wait months to see a psychologist, only to receive the same therapy that you could have gotten with a registered and well regarded counsellor. It is important to research and find a counsellor with a high level of qualification, good reviews and membership of a peak body such as PACFA or ACA.
If you are going through a rough patch, or have been suffering quietly for some time, then please reach out for a chat. I’m Andrew Berry, a local counsellor in Port Macquarie who is qualified to Masters degree level, professionally registered, with great reviews and have availability to see you. You can book online for convenience or call or email. Either way I’ll be happy to hear from you.