Health & Wellbeing

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS: WITH BROOKE CEFAI

Brooke Cefai

Mental illness continues to be a major health, social and economic issue in Australia with one in five people experiencing mental health concerns in any one year (ABS 2008).

For many dealing with a mental illness is a prolonged battle that requires ongoing psychological support. Here in Australia our systems don’t often support this need. Awareness campaigns grow stronger each year as we actively challenge the stigmas that prevents people from seeking help, robbing them from having important conversations. Despite these tremendous efforts a huge number of barriers still exist, one of which Is something I’m hugely passionate about changing; access to counselling & psychological services.

In Australia those that cannot afford private counselling (a large percentage of the population) are reliant on a capped/subsidised and overburdened public system or will need to seek the aid of charities with extensive wait lists. For many time is of the essence and it means they simply go without the support they so desperately need.

We are fortunate in Australia that our system has some supports in place, and having worked in the community sector for many years I am all too aware of the multifactorial and complex reasons why there are still so many unmet needs because of inadequate funding, quality of services, understaffed centers/hospitals ill equipped to be dealing with the demand and a lack of focus on early intervention & prevention

As a therapist in private practice charging market rate and as one who has my own weekly counselling and pays market rate, (yes we all know I’m a firm believer that counsellors should have counsellors) I am all too aware of how expensive therapy is!

I often ask myself what more can I do as a therapist?

When I began private practice I wanted to offer as many services as possible to those that wanted to use them. As a result I make available a number of appointments each week for those that don’t have the ability to pay market rate, doing what I can to help you utilise my service at a discounted rate OR I will find a service that is appropriate for you if mine is not

It is simply a matter of reaching out…

As mental health awareness week slowly comes to an end I encourage everyone to have a closer look at your mental health needs, is seeking support something you’ve been putting off? Are your symptoms getting worse and you’ve been ignoring them hoping they will disappear? If so now is the time to be proactive and reach out.

The saying ‘People fear what they don't understand and can’t conquer’ rings true, but we need not forget, understanding and working through your symptoms or illness won’t make them any worse & early intervention often leads to more positive outcomes (for any illness)

If you identify with this please make contact and let’s put a plan in place to help you move towards wellness.

About Brooke Cefai

Brooke Cefai is a Melbourne based Counsellor & Wellbeing Facilitator who has spent two decades working in a number of diverse counselling and wellness settings in Sydney & Melbourne. This includes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Victims Services NSW, PWD Abuse & Neglect Hotline, Mission Australia Counselling Services, and Essential Energies Wellbeing Centre. Brooke’s qualifications include a Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Wellness qualifications include a Certificate of Metaphysics and Advanced Certificate of Spiritual Healing. She is professionally registered with the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Brooke uses a holistic approach to counselling that draws on a number of counselling models and techniques chosen specifically to meet a person’s current needs. This approach considers physiological and psychological disorder as part of a greater whole and will focus on the relationship between body, mind and spirit to empower individuals to unlock their innate wisdom and potential. Brooke is further guided by a psychodynamic framework meaning within sessions the aim is to bring unconscious elements within one's life into consciousness and often requires an exploration of your past to understand the current impact on the present. Brooke is available for private counselling sessions at MISS FOX, online, and at her South Melbourne clinic.

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