22 Nov Separation, Divorce and your Mental Health
I have been doing the 22 Day Challenge (22 push-ups for 22 days) to raise awareness for those Veterans who have lost their lives to PTSD and suicide (walkingwounded.org.au) and it made me think about my own life and work. As a Family Lawyer I see it all: stress, anxiety, mental illness, domestic/family violence and drug and alcohol abuse on a daily basis.
I work with people going through the worst times of their lives – the end of a serious relationship, particularly where kids are involved. For many of them there is going to be a battle ahead to sort things out; or sadly, even just to see their kids. It is understandable that the people I am helping with are extremely stressed-out, tired, scared and emotional. My advice to anyone going through a trauma in their life is to talk it through.
Separation and divorce is up there with the most stressful thing anyone can experience in life including the death of a loved one. There is professional help available and it doesn’t cost a thing. Talk to your GP: depending on your health care needs, you are entitled to 6 sessions with a psychiatrist/psychologist and can get a further referral for 4 more sessions (to a maximum of 10 individual sessions) per calendar year with and the costs you NOTHING. It is all covered by Medicare.
There is nothing week or wrong with seeking help when things are getting on top of you. If you know someone going through separation or divorce, talk to them. Let them know that they aren’t alone. You don’t know, just a smile, knowing someone is thinking of them may literally be the difference between life and death. As difficult as divorce and separation are, thankfully most people get through it.
If you or someone you know is not coping please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.