When Sam lost his long-time partner to cancer, he didn’t know how to deal with the loss. Feeling overwhelmed and alone, the 37-year-old from Queensland turned to self-destructive behaviour. He couldn’t shake a feeling of guilt for her death, believing if he had taken her to the doctor earlier, she may have survived.
As time passed, Sam knew he needed to find help. He got in touch with Beyond Blue’s NewAccess program and was partnered with a coach to help guide him through the tough times he was facing. NewAccess is an early intervention program designed to provide free, easily accessible, quality services for people with depression and anxiety. It aims to assist people who are not currently accessing mental health services.
After an initial assessment with his coach, Sam identified goals that he wanted to work towards. The two key ones he identified were to be able to think about his partner without thinking he was at fault, and to be able to think about his partner without engaging in self-destructive behaviour.
Over the six weeks that followed, Sam attended six Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Li-CBT) sessions and worked with his coach to complete the Behavioural Action workbook. He also made sure that he made time each day to go for a walk and enjoy the outdoors. At the end of each week he would talk with his coach about the progress he was making and any difficulties he was facing.
The outcomes for Sam were overwhelmingly positive. After six sessions he had stuck to his goal of walking every day, developed a healthy eating plan and was losing weight in a healthy way. He once again took pride in his appearance and would try and look his best each day. He also started his own business. Most importantly, he had stopped blaming himself for the death of his partner and no longer engaged in self-destructive behaviour.
Thanks to Lives Lived Well, NewAccess Service Provider for Darling Downs and West Moreton region in QLD, for providing the background to Sam’s case study information.
Contact a NewAccess coach
While we are working to expand the program, NewAccess is currently only available in certain parts of Australia. Locations can be found here.
NewAccess is not a crisis service. If you feel you require immediate support or advice, please call the Beyond Blue Support Service 24/7 on 1300 224 636. If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please call 000.