When Cognitive Behavioural Education chief executive Shanna White, of Wollongong, was appointed an ambassador for the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association early this month the timing in the middle of COVID lockdown was not lost on her as a psychologist, family therapist and clinical trainer.
Ms White also works at Dr Olga Lavelle and Associates and said she has become a lot busier in both roles since COVID-19 began.
"A couple of months into the pandemic a lot of people's mental health really started to struggle," she said.
"We are not designed to stay inside all the time. It is not good for our mental health. I think because it has been prolonged and gone on for such a long time people are really struggling with the uncertainty and lack of predictability with their routines. As an ambassador I want to try and help organisations and providers of care who work with people who are struggling."
Ms White said one of the challenges during a lockdown is we can't do the things we would normally use to look after our mental health.
"You can't got and see your friends. You can't go out to dinner and enjoy a nice meal. You can't go to the gym and do those things that we know are super good for us," she said.
"And because of the situation we are not able to engage with them."
Ms White said that means thinking outside the box for other resources that will help people struggling with their mental health during lockdown.
She founded CBE as a trauma-informed education company two years ago but has had to change the structure of the business during COVID-19 from face-to-face to virtual meetings.
CBE packages trauma systems theory, neurobiology and psychological study of the impacts of trauma into practical and realistic education, training and resources those working with vulnerable people can employ to support the individuals they care for. It is also dedicated to supporting caring professionals in maintaining their own mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Six months ago Ms White started a podcast, The Trauma Tales, where she interviews trauma survivors and shares their stories.
She said becoming an ambassador will give her the opportunity to connect and collaborate with others, support other professionals in her field and work to further awareness of trauma, trauma-informed education, and the mental health field as a whole.
She is also keen to promote mental health resources that are available to people.
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