The importance of mental health support and online counselling


Has the pressure on the community ever been greater?

Our health, livelihoods, life savings and future feels under threat, whilst at the same time millions are trapped in our homes with our partner and families, unable to do anything other than a quick trip to the shop.

In what seemed like an instant our lives have changed and for many it will be a battle against much more than social isolation.

Right now, in Australia we have over 4 million people who are receiving treatment for mental health issues, with the Australian governments Institute of Health and Welfare saying that 45% of the population will face a mental health crisis at some point in our lives.

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The coronavirus lockdown will push many of us to the point of breaking

With hundreds of thousands now unemployed and tens of thousands of business owners facing the prospect of their businesses failing, without question many of us will face issues with our mental health in the long months ahead.

Add into the mix the over a quarter of a million cases of domestic violence that are reported each year, with countless others unreported and the recipe for a difficult time for millions of Australians is real and genuine.

Today more than ever access to mental health support services are as critical as any point of time in our nation’s history and delivering easy access to these services through online platforms is absolutely critical.

The Federal and State governments have acknowledged the importance of such support with $1.1 billion in funding and I hope to see many organisations moving quickly to ensure that this funding turns into genuine and immediate online support.

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The federal government is providing much needed funding for mental health support as the nation deals with the coronavirus

This is what I have done with my own counselling sessions, moving them onto online so I can continue to work with couples that I have been supporting and also providing opportunities to support those couples and individuals who need support in coping with social isolation.

Living in close quarters without the capacity to break up our lives with external distraction is not easy and will place enormous pressure on couples, opening them up to challenges that many have never had to deal with previously.

The question for many will be how will I know when to get help?

The answer to that question is relatively easy, if you are asking, then you most likely need help now, with the best advice being to seek help as early as possible.

This will enable you to get help before the resentments have built and the constant arguing over the same topic has kicked in, instead choosing to work through your issues before they become something significant.

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Get help before the resentments build and the issues becomes far more difficult to navigate

As a guide for those who may not have felt a need to seek help previously, I have included below the 8 tell-tale signs that your relationship could do with some therapy:

1.      You keep having the same arguments 

A common issue amongst couples who are struggling is that they keep repeating the same argument and disagreement over and over and over. This is where therapy is critical as it can help you to understand why you keep having re-occurring issues and then assist in resolving them – once and for all. 

2.      You’ve stopped being intimate 

Intimacy is a barometer for your relationship and if you have stopped touching each other, kissing, cuddling and having sex, this is a real red flag and where counselling can help uncover the reason behind the lack of physical closeness, and even better, help reignite the fire. 

3.      You find fault in everything your partner does 

If you find yourself either being criticised or constantly criticising your partner, both directly to them and in front of family and friends, then you have an issue with the ‘R’ word – Resentment, which sits at the root of many toxic relationships. By seeking help, both parties can get the right tools for overcoming bitterness and rebuilding a healthy relationship. 

4.      You lead separate lives 

Has your relationship seen you becoming more like housemates than lovers? It is common in long term relationships and even under the COVID-19 restrictions there are couples in separate rooms watching different shows or entertaining themselves with technology. Through therapy you can reconnect with your partner on a romantic level, reminding you of why you fell in love in the first place.

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If you are feeling more like a roommate than a partner, then it might be time to get some help to reconnect

5.      You don’t trust your partner

There is a key ingredient to all healthy relationships and that is trust. When you trust someone, you feel physically and emotionally safe with them. If it’s missing, then it is a problem that requires resolving. A counsellor can help with establishing where the trust was lost and whether it is possible to have it restored. 

6.      You argue over money 

Money is the cause of many relationship breakdowns and in this era of financial devastation will continue to play a significant role on relationship breakdown. We fight over financial matters because we tend to have different beliefs about the best way to use money. Through counselling you can be helped to understand your partner’s differing point of perspective, guiding you both towards a true partnership. 

7.      You feel like your partner doesn’t listen to you 

“He/she never listens to me!!” I have heard that in my therapy sessions so many times and is a constant complaint from couples – with both holding the same belief. Communication is key in all happy relationships, and one of the most important skills that we work through with couples through counselling.  

8.      You’re flirting or imagining an affair 

With lockdown we will see an increase in cheating, not so much the physical kind, but the social media kind, with flirty messages being sent between co-workers, old flames and even strangers. If you are finding yourself in this position, then through therapy you can be helped to explore what it is you’re lacking in your current relationship and solve the problem before you cross that line.

If you or your partner are in need of support Melissa is offering online counselling services and please go here for further details. Most importantly if you are seeking couple therapy please ask the therapist you are enquiring with that they are couple therapy trained and are skilled with working with couples. Unfortunately, although the government has put billions of dollars into mental health programmes couple therapy is not covered by this. This I continue to support in lobbying with the government.

For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, dating, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari – Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.



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