Dec 2020 Longreach Agi DSC_8928 (1)

Telehealth helped Julie overcome depression and loneliness

Long time Central West Queensland resident Julie* was referred to Outback Futures by the local nurse navigator with symptoms of long term depression.

Julie was over 70 years of age, lived alone in a small remote community, and expressed feelings of extreme loneliness.

She had trouble leaving the house due to her anxiety and depression, and this contributed further to her sense of isolation.

Getting help had always been challenging for Julie due to her difficulty attending appointments outside the home.

Julie had an initial face-to-face session with an Outback Futures counsellor and they also spent time setting up Julie’s iPad with telehealth software.

Julie began regular telehealth sessions with the same counsellor. The reliability and consistency of her attendance increased dramatically and she reported looking forward to her connections on screen. As a result, Julie has been able to access the support she needs, when and where she needs it.

Concurrently, the HEAD YAKKA initiative was being developed in Julie’s region by Outback Futures together with local community stakeholders and champions. HEAD YAKKA focusses on strengthening existing community networks and wellbeing projects. It empowers people to better understand mental health, develop tools to support one another, and become more confident in help seeking pathways.

HEAD YAKKA was strengthening the community networks and support around Julie in conjunction with her own access to therapy. This meant broader community understanding and support for Julie, and others like her, was growing.

Julie’s story highlights the value of empowering communities to identify and support those who are vulnerable, and positively contribute to the mental health and wellbeing of their own community.

*Our client’s name has been changed to respect her privacy.