Boosted Counselling Service at PDH

Thursday, 3 April 2014
Portland District Health’s counselling service has been boosted by the return of health psychologist Jacki Carmody to the team.

It has been a case of good timing with Ms Carmody returning after 14 months of maternity leave to raise her twins. She will replace Lauren Yuill who is in turn going on maternity leave.

Ms Carmody said the service could provide a wide range of support for local people. This includes general counselling and one-on-one consultations along with group programs that cover topics such as depression, anxiety, smoking and body image. The team also supports cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation and cancer care programs.

Ms Carmody said PDH counsellors worked with patients to help them achieve their goals. Some areas covered include depression, anxiety, relationships, grief and loss and stress. We work with all age groups and work in consultation with GPs and other allied health professionals, she said.

Ms Carmody is joined by youth health worker and social worker Mikaela Staples.

Ms Staples is a qualified social worker and also has an undergraduate degree in psychology and has been based at Active Health Portland since January after moving from the community health centre. She has been concentrating on young people aged 12-25, including local school visits. With changes to counselling staff, she is now providing counselling and support to people of all ages, along with continuing to work with people aged 12 -25.

PDH is also recruiting a new psychologist to join the counselling team.

Ms Carmody was previously with PDH for 12 years, seven in health promotion and prevention and five as a psychologist. She has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and a Master of Psychology (Health) with additional training in health coaching, health behaviour change and chronic disease self management. As a health psychologist her interest is in the psychology of health.

Health psychology focuses on the more medical aspects of psychology and applies psychological principles to healing physical illness and medical problems. Essentially is about helping cope with and manage the emotions that come with physical illness to cope with change so they continue living a rich and rewarding life,she said.

Ms Staples is available all week days except Tuesday while Ms Carmody is available Tuesday to Thursday.

Anyone seeking more information about the counselling service can contact the Allied Health Centre on 55 210653.

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