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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Ask Coach Craig - Our Resident Mental Health Clinician!

Topic: Ask Coach Craig - Our Resident Mental Health Clinician!

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    4642 posts
    29 March 2021

    Hi everyone,

    This is a thread for asking questions of our resident Mental Health Nurse, Craig who pops into the forums regularly.

    PLEASE NOTE as per our community rules, Coach Craig won't be able to answer questions about medications, these are best discussed offline directly with your mental health professional.


    • Coaches time is limited! We cannot provide an ongoing dialogue with COACH in this thread - one post/question per person please
    • We'd recommend you have a look through the forums before posting here to see if your question has already been answered by Coach Craig, our other members, or if there's information about it already on the Beyond Blue website.
    • If a question pops up that has already been answered previously, or if alternate resources are available, one of our moderators will reply and direct you to the link.
    • When writing your question, imagine you are speaking to someone in person i.e. provide a clear and detailed post with enough information that outlines how The Coach can help you.


    Background Information - From Coach Craig

     I have been involved in mental health nursing since the mid 1980’s, during my career, I have held a plethora of different roles and had many awesome experiences, I have received 2 national awards and have been awarded with a fellowship to the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. I chose mental health nursing as I soon realised that I didn’t seem to fit into the traditional ‘medical model’ of delivering care.

     I have worked as a nurse, manager, educator, project officer, advocate, within Youth, teenagers, Adults and Older persons mental health, both in traditional hospital settings and primary based GP clinics. I am also a trained Nurse Therapist in ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy). I am also trained as a life coach.

    I am thankful that I can walk alongside people who need some support, encouragement, and advice around there own mental and emotional health.


    2 people found this helpful
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8861 posts
    30 March 2021 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Coach Craig

    Often we get members that experience relationship difficulties. Is there different types of counselors that can be chosen to suit their needs. Eg couples with children issues, step parent problems or relationship problems with one or both parties suffering mental illness symptoms that interfere with their day to day lives.

    Choosing the right counselor for their specific problems would fast track their counseling path dont you think.? What are the different counseling services available to members?


  3. Guest_2536
    Guest_2536 avatar
    1 posts
    8 April 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi Coach Craig,

    I'd like to ask with reading hospital discharge record. It says "Diagnosies" and "Cluster B personality structutre" and then a name. Does the psychiatrist diagnosed me with a personality disorder?

    I call hoispital to ask and they sayd ask GP. I don't have GP.

  4. Coach Craig
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Coach Craig avatar
    3 posts
    12 April 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hello White Knight..

    Indeed selecting the right service or supports to support relationship difficulties is indeed a tricky one.

    When i need relationship advice on who to refer people to, one of my go to services is Relationships Australia

    At a Family Relationship Centre families can access information and advice on:
    Building and strengthening relationships
    Early intervention and prevention services
    Child-friendly services for families in conflict
    Family dispute resolution services
    Parenting plans
    Re-partnering and stepfamily arrangements

    Information and referral to other services, that require specialist interventions
    You can find them on - 1300 364 277 (for the cost of a local call).

    Thanks for reaching out

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Coach Craig
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Coach Craig avatar
    3 posts
    13 April 2021 in reply to Guest_2536

    Hi Guest 2536,

    Thanks for reaching out with your post.

    I have included some information / advice for you.

    Cluster B personality disorders affect a person’s emotions and behaviors, leading to actions that others tend to consider dramatic, overly emotional, or erratic.

    A personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects the ways that a person thinks, behaves, and relates to others.
    These disorders can lead to significant distress and, in many cases, destructive and harmful coping strategies.

    People with cluster B disorders typically have trouble regulating their emotions and struggle to maintain relationships.

    There are four types of cluster B personality disorders, each with a different set of diagnostic criteria and treatments:

    • Antisocial personality disorder
    • Borderline personality disorder
    • Histrionic personality disorder
    • Narcissistic personality disorder

    What are cluster B personality disorders?
    People with these disorders typically have difficulty regulating their emotions and maintaining relationships.
    Their behavior may come across as dramatic, erratic, or extremely emotional.

    Healthcare professionals use a guide called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), to help diagnose mental health conditions.
    The DSM-5 identifies three main clusters of personality disorders:

    Cluster A: A person with this type behaves in a way that others consider unusual or eccentric. There are three cluster A disorders: paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders.

    Cluster B: A person with this type has difficulties regulating their emotions and behavior. Others may consider their behavior dramatic, emotional, or erratic.
    There are four cluster B disorders: antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders.

    Cluster C: A person with this type behaves in anxious or avoidant ways. There are three cluster C disorders: avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.

    People with a personality disorder are likely to experience other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, depression, or substance use disorders.

    If you require any further information it would be great for you to discuss it with a GP, as you don’t have one,You may be interested in checking out our ‘find a professional’ page on our website where you can search for suitable General practitioner  in your area:


  6. IreneM
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    IreneM avatar
    315 posts
    13 April 2021

    Hi Craig

    I was wondering what your thoughts were on: Mental Health Peer Support Workers

    Many Mental Health Clinicians and Patients have never heard of them (I graduate in a few months).

    We are a new improvement in the system. Just interested in your opinion.



  7. Coach Craig
    Health professional
    • Health professional
    Coach Craig avatar
    3 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to IreneM

    Mental Health Peer support workers are an absolute asset to the mental health community, providing that consumer partnership journey.


  8. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    8300 posts
    30 April 2021 in reply to IreneM

    Hello Irene...

    I was recently in hospital and the peer workers their was amazing...They take us out for walks and do the groups, which are usually based on coping tools for our mental health..and are their for us if we need to talk...

    I think peer workers are amazing people..and I wish you nothing but the best in your new role Irene....

    My kind thoughts..


  9. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    3191 posts
    3 May 2021
    peer workers fill an important gap in MH services. I'm very lonley and isolated, and peer workers do things that accompany me emotionally and with their presence on my journey.
    They would go for walks with me and chat to me while i was in hospital.
    I am grateful and hope peer worker continues to grow within hospitals, and also that they get paid better for their vital contribution to the mental health space.

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