Pushing through the SCI bog

5 November, 2020

For the October meeting, the Central West Regional Network had a thought-provoking discussion on "pushing through the SCI bog". We all get stuck in a bog (or getting into difficulties) from time to time, so this was an opportunity for the Network to share tips on how to get out of a bog and reach out to mates.

The discussion was complemented by Network members who shared their past experiences of being stuck in a bog - examples included pain issues, bladder issues, relationship issues, returning home for the first time after rehabilitation, managing support workers or the challenges of funding bodies.

The group acknowledged that for some people, it's easy to pick up a phone to ask for help, but for others it can be harder to reach out. A few signs where someone might be stuck in a bog include:

  • Feeling distanced from other people.

  • Feeling like they have missed out of what they normally like to do.

  • Thinking that they have to do it all by themselves when up against something unfamiliar.

  • Feeling embarrassed or afraid what others would think.

Similar to a car's odometer, if your car is getting overheated, you wouldn't keep driving it.  Then group shared strategies that have helped them push through a bog in the past:

  • Acknowledge that you can improve yourself. You can be "strong" and it's okay to feel "vulnerable".

  • Recognise your cues of when you're feeling down, so you can start reaching out for help.

  • Making that first step to reach out to mates is hard, but once you do it, you realise they actually wanted to help but didn't know how. Being honest with your feelings and the situation can also make friendships stronger.

  • When everything is overwhelming, focus on one small step at a time or on things that you can change. After completing each step, you will feel more motivated. Sharing your troubles, especially with people in similar situations, can be helpful to vent as well as problem solve.

  • Instead of thinking about being stuck, think about beyond the bog.

  • Balance your efforts.Allocate a certain day of the week to focus just on getting out of the bog. For the rest of the week, focus on something else.

  • There are many resources out there that can support you, such as friends, family, community groups, religious leaders, mental health services (Lifeline, Beyond Blue, text based counselling), and AQA's volunteer Peer Mentors and Regional Networks.

The group also heard from Janaya Wiggins,  Mental Health Services Manager from Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS). She explained the services BCHS offers:

  • Generalist counselling program - for people experiencing mild to moderate levels of tress, such as unemployment, financial difficulties, health issues, or significant loss and grief.

  • Specialist services - for people experiencing complex mental health issues and those diagnosed with a mental health condition. A Mental Health Care plan from a GP is required for the referral.

  • Head to Health is a new service funded by the Australian Government in response to Covid-19. People who previously have not accessed mental services can access this service, which can have a quicker intake than BCHS regular services. A Mental Health Care plan is not needed. Their number is 1800 595 212, and they also have a local branch in Bendigo.
  • There are many ways to access BCHS services: make an appointment yourself, attend in person or by phone or Telehealth, or can access their after hours service. The office is wheelchair accessible.Their intake number is 5406 1200.

Many thanks to the community members and Peer Volunteers who helped initiated and planned the discussion topics, and the Network for being involved in the discussions and sharing their experiences. The topic was inspired by Are you bogged, mate? program supporting people living in regional Victoria - check it out for more details.

Details of our next event

Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020

02:00 PM

Zoom - online

From the comfort of your home

Reflections on 2020, planning for end of year meeting

Spire at 9489 0777 (toll free 1800 999 128) or [email protected]

Tags: Events, Bendigo