FEELING stressed as Christmas approaches? Worried you’ll spend another festive season alone, or with people who make you feel uncomfortable?
Christmas can be a difficult time for many involved in conflict, or who feel isolated, grief and missing loved ones.
This can sometimes lead to substance abuse issues.
There are good strategies you can employ to get through the hectic silly season.
The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) has partnered with The Land to host the final online forum for 2016.
The next Friday forum, at 12pm on Friday, December 9, at theland.com.au will focus on coping at Christmas.
The forum will share practical tips on how to look after your own mental health and wellbeing, and cope with the possible adversities Christmas may bring.
The expert panel is ready to answer your questions about a number of important issues, including:
- How to look after yourself and stay mentally healthy
- Tips to reduce loneliness
- How to reduce relationship stress at Christmas time
- Understanding difficult relationships and how to strengthen them
- Recognising stress and anxiety
- When and where to seek help.
Brendan Maher is the chief executive of R U OK? – an organisation committed to encouraging and equipping everyone to regularly and meaningfully ask “are you ok?”.
R U OK? has campaigns such as R U OK? at Work, R U OK? at School and R U OK? Afield (targeting FIFO/DIDO workers).
Brendan is a passionate advocate for suicide prevention, and a former member of Lifeline Australia’s senior leadership team, where he spent seven years before stepping into his current role at R U OK? in 2013.
Dr Addie Wootten brings her extensive background in clinical psychology, research and e-health to her position of chief executive of Smiling Mind.
Addie is a well-known leader in her field, delivering and researching innovative programs to enhance the wellbeing of people with cancer.
She has developed and evaluated a range of online wellbeing tools, and has published widely.
Addie has been using mindfulness meditation as a part of her clinical psychology practice for many years, and also has a strong personal mindfulness practice.
Naomi Lavery is a senior social worker at Wollemi Kids, an acute child and adolescent mental health service in Orange.
The Wollemi Unit delivers program of clinical interventions that are guided by best practice principles and responsive to the therapeutic needs of adolescents.
Naomi has worked with young people and their families for 20 years.
Michael Pitt and Sonja Peters are employed with Interrelate.
Michael is a relationship counsellor and group facilitator, and Sonja is a case manager Building Stronger Families, as well as a group leader.
Michael has worked in private practice offering individual and couple therapy, mediation and clinical supervision.
Sonja assists families experiencing separation.
They both have many ideas about coping with potential challenges during the festive season.
Do you have a question for the panel? You can ask on the day or submit your questions ahead of time.
- The forum is not a crisis service. If you need help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.