West Gippsland Libraries have partnered with local registered Counselling psychologist, Alison Fonseca from Bourke Fonseca Consulting to produce a monthly video series titled ‘Looking after your Mental Health’. During the videos, Alison and WGL Deputy CEO Linda Fowler discuss a range of topics relating to mental health and the impact that COVID19 and the 2019 bushfires have had on our Gippsland communities.
In our second video in the series ‘Managing Emotions’, Alison and Linda focus on the emotions that may arise from seeking help within a smaller community. Many people perceive that there might be a stigma around visiting a mental health professional or doctor, particularly if they come across familiar faces in the waiting room. Alison lists some strategies that can be used to manage these anxieties and ways to work with your specialist to ensure your confidentiality is upheld.
Alison also explains what a counselling session might look like and the various emotions that you might experience in the lead up to your appointment, particularly how you might feel during and after the session. Linda and Alison discuss some questions that you might like to ask your doctor or mental health professional, and how to start the conversation when your first instinct is to suppress your emotions.
Alison Fonseca has been living and working in Central West Gippsland since the mid-1990s. Alison is a registered Counselling psychologist and a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. She has 20 years’ experience working in the field of psychological trauma. Her areas of experience include responses to sexual assault, perinatal and infant mental health, and clinical governance within the helping professions. She has worked in community services organisations, tertiary health settings, private practice and for Commonwealth, State, and local government.
We encourage you to share these videos with your network. The first video in our series ‘Mental v’s Physical Health’ can be viewed here. In this discussion, Linda asks Alison for tips on how to know if you or those around you are not coping and if we should treat our mental health in the same way that we treat physical fitness.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, experiencing a crisis or are in need of immediate help please contact 000 immediately.