Free mental health program


HAVE you recently been feeling a little flat or not quite yourself in your reactions, feelings or behaviours?

You might want to find out more about the free online program for adults aged 18 and over who want to boost their wellbeing. It’s a program that has already helped hundreds of people to improve their mental wellbeing across South East Queensland.

The program, called EMERALD, is an evidence-based, eight-week online program developed by mental health experts at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute.

It offers personalised coaching and support through self-paced modules and one-on-one appointments with allied health clinicians.

It is also designed to assist people who have mild to moderate concerns about their mental health to address their symptoms before they get worse.

Thompson Institute mental health nurse Monique Jones said EMERALD participants had reported increases of up to 52 percent in their sense of wellbeing on completion of the program.

“Most participants, even those who reported only mild symptoms of depression or anxiety at the start of the program, feel like they have improved their wellbeing by the end,” Monique said.

“Even though those feelings were still present in their lives, they felt like they could cope better because they had learned new ways to manage those feelings and have felt supported to make changes.”

Monique said that lockdown could bring stress and uncertainty, so it was helpful to sometimes get back to the basics and learn how to manage this stress. “For example, making sure I get a good sleep and am I moving my body,’” she said.

Monique said participants had one-on-one appointments with Thompson Institute health coaches and allied health clinicians who provided advice on making positive lifestyle changes through nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, social activity and life organisation.

“It’s participant-driven, so participants set their own goals and are supported to reach those goals, which is really empowering for people,” she said.

To find out more about the program and to register go to www.usc.edu.au/thompson-institute/clinical-services/emerald-wellbeing-program

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