With current COVID restrictions and lockdown, the Black Dog Institute is reaching out to those who have been left feeling unable to cope following the pandemic. Whether it is because you have been left in financial difficulties, are struggling to secure work or are just in shock upon reflection about what has happened this year – the medical research centre wants to help.
The medical research institute is running research on how people receive and learn strategies on how to cope with stress and mood issues through a new, free trial which can be delivered digitally from your own home. The centre is looking for 250 people to test if six hour-long sessions with a clinician, in small groups can help people who are experiencing stress. People will be offered the program or a self-help guide that teaches people the same skills as taught in the groups. The program has been developed with assistance from the World Health Organisation and aims to help those who’ve noticed they are experiencing higher than normal stress levels or low mood.
“This year has been a big one for everyone and now that the ‘fight or flight’ part of it is over, many people are left feeling a little flat,” explains Research Fellow Richard Bryant. “The idea is for the participants to learn processes to help them lower their stress and manage better as a result of the issues which has affected them due to COVID. This program has already been shown to improve people’s mood and reduce stress levels, and now we are trying to determine how to provide even better programs.”
The sessions can be run during office hours, weekends or after office hours, depending on the participants’ needs. All sessions are free.