Ben’s story is one that is all too familiar among the mental health clients that we see at Specialised Health.
A high-stress job with 24/7 on-call hours resulted in declining health, both physically and mentally, that eventually lead Ben to a breaking point.
He suffered severe anxiety and depression and withdrew from social interaction for over 3 months. He only left the house for medical appointments.
Struggling with insomnia, fatigue, memory impairment, muscle and joint soreness, and gaining 20 kg, he knew something needed to change.
Fortunately, Ben had Income Protection and an open and supportive relationship with his Rehab Consultant, OnePath’s Hannah Dunne.
Hannah decided to make the referral to Specialised Health in March 2020.
Covid – of Course
Does “March 2020” ring any bells for you?
All things Covid, worldwide lockdowns and social-isolation put a spanner in the works. Well, tried to.
As Hannah summarised it to us perfectly:
“It was a decision between the program being delivered over telehealth, or not being delivered until face to face services could resume.”
And who knew when that would be!?
Sure, it was slightly out of the norm, but Hannah was confident in the Telehealth service.
Believe it or not, Telehealth is not just a Covid thing. We have been offering it for years to country Australians who don’t have local Exercise Physiologists to see face to face and it has been a god-send for so many!
The offer of a Telehealth program also provided Ben some relief.
Remember Ben’s story?
His depression and anxiety meant overwhelming panic when just thinking about meeting new people or considering leaving the house.
Telehealth broke down this barrier.
So, Ben, in Brisbane, met our Exercise Physiologist Jen, in Melbourne, and they kickstarted a program which Ben would never regret.
“The psychological benefits of that intervention at that time were life-changing for me.”
“It’s given me a level of support that I never really knew that I needed”
Having been a keen runner and bike rider Ben knew the benefits of exercise. But fear of injury and the belief that he was not fit enough acted as a deterrent to starting.
Not to mention fatigue, overwhelm and motivation.
Together, Ben and Jen set goals around exercise, diet and even sleep.
Jen played a key role in empowering Ben. She provided him with resources and supported him through Motivational Interviewing to return to riding and running and take control of his lifestyle.
Starting to feel better, he is also increasing his work hours, essential in the process of getting back to a normal life.
“I feel like a different person. I feel very capable now, like I’ve got a sustainable tool kit for the first time in a very long time”.
Ben has lost nearly 7 kg! His sleep is improving and he has a more positive outlook.
He’s in it for the long haul. He knows it takes time and effort to make a difference. And he knows he can do it.
His advice to those in a similar position that he was in 3 months ago?
“Jen quite possibly saved my life. Give it a go – there is everything to gain and nothing to lose.”
But don’t take out word for it, hear it from Ben himself:
Have a claimant struggling with Mental Health?
We can help. Get in touch.
Email email@example.com, call 1300 869 803 or make a referral
Case study authored by Yolanda van Vugt, Specialised Health (Exercise Physiologist and Writer) & Biara Webster Exercise Physiologist and Content Manager