For a long time, one of Lavender’s biggest goals was to join the gym. Even though she wanted to go for walks and participate in the community, Lavender felt extreme anxiety about leaving the home. Lavender (name changed at her request) says she was constantly distressed about her mental health and her prescribed medications.
When St Vincent’s Health contracted Mind to deliver its Early Intervention Psychosocial Support Response program (EIPSR) last year, we were able to offer Lavender psychosocial support to help her do things outside. Lavender had never accessed psychosocial support before and she was reluctant to meet or engage with a Mind support worker. Her case manager spent several weeks encouraging Lavender to meet with someone from Mind, and eventually, a short meeting was agreed upon.
Initially, Lavender was reluctant to say much and the first meetings with her Mind practitioner, Jessica, were short; Lavender didn’t say much because she found it all overwhelming. Several monthly meetings passed and Lavender eventually got to know Jessica; she revealed more about her difficulties conversing with others, how she would often over-think and rehearse what she would say days before a planned meeting. This would lead to overwhelming anxiety, so she tended to avoid and cancel any planned engagements.
Some months later, Lavender is enjoying her time with Jessica and they meet for four hours once a week. Being able to spend time with a person outside of her family on a regular basis has meant Lavender can practice conversing with others. This has led to a positive change in her self- confidence and she has started achieving some of the goals she had identified with Jessica, including going to the gym. Lavender says she’s also keen to be a part of Mind recreational groups, especially an arts and crafts group.
“Mind’s support has been life changing,” Lavender says.
Can you believe that I am going to the gym now? I was staying at home and had issues, but now I feel new and different; it has really helped my anxiety.
For enquiries about early intervention psychosocial supports, contact Mind Connect on 1300 286 463 or email email@example.com.