How to help someone in need
It’s hard to imagine anyone looking forward to a trip to the dentist with a headache and feeling more alone than a psychologist at Athens Ga, who has worked in the health sector for almost 20 years.
I’m on my first tour in a year and I’ve been working with people who have been in a relationship for years and are at the stage where they have had kids.
It’s quite stressful because you know, you’re constantly working and there’s always that question of how you’re going to feed them, but also how you are going to get them to drink a glass of water and eat their food.
It really is very difficult.
Read more: The psychology graduate says he has worked with more than 100 people who, while feeling isolated, have struggled with depression, anxiety and self-harm.
“There is a huge stigma in terms of mental health.
It is very much a stigma that is held in society, and that’s what we’re trying to change,” he says.
It’s not just about the NHS, but we have to take care of ourselves too, and we have a responsibility to look after each other.
He has developed a unique approach to working with patients who have an eating disorder and the support of a mental health professional, who can help to get the person through their eating disorder.
I have to give people space, I have to listen to what they have to say and they have a right to be heard, he says, but he is keen to emphasise that he is not a mental illness expert.
The psychologist says his patients often feel like they have no voice in the room.
What we do with our patients is very personal, we don’t think that we know them well enough to be able to say, ‘well, what about this, what’s happening here’, but we do know their story and we’re here to listen.
We don’t feel like we have any control over the outcomes of the work we do, he adds.
Dr Andrew Fagan, the head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of London, says the number of eating disorder cases in the UK has fallen sharply in the past few years, but is concerned about the number coming to the attention of the NHS.
“We’re seeing more and more cases coming through our doors, but it’s also happening in other parts of the country,” he said.
His team works with patients at an NHS hospital, where they can access psychological services.
One patient I met recently was suffering from depression and anxiety and said she felt lonely in her relationship.
Her doctor said: “I would like to know what you’re feeling, what you’ve got going on, what kind of issues are you having, are you in any trouble, are there any issues with your partner?”
I said: “No, there’s nothing that I’m thinking about.”
The doctor then put the patient in contact with a psychologist, who helped the patient get the support she needed and found a new relationship that helped her feel like a normal person again.
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