Part of the #FarmerMentalHealth campaign, as well as Farmers Weekly’s #Fit2Farm campaign, is about encouraging those who are struggling with their mental health to reach out to others for help. The most difficult thing in the world can be to accept that you are facing a problem but the old cliche that a problem shared is a problem halved is completely true. What is more, whilst you may choose to speak to a friend or a family member, and speaking to anyone is usually a good thing, there are other avenues available, and it is worth exploring these if you have any concerns about taking things too quickly.
The internet has opened up a wealth of opportunities for managing your mental health, and these tools can be extremely useful, especially when used alongside other conventional face to face methods. Simply put, online counselling is any form of mental health counselling that is conducted through the internet, so there’s quite a broad spectrum available. It could be conducted by email, texting or audio or video feed. The benefit of this range is that the therapy can be targeted to the needs or situation of the individual. For example, it could be that you are far more comfortable at the stage that you are of texting a counsellor or speaking through an audio feed than you might be at talking face to face at this stage. That’s not to say that this won’t change, but it gives you the option, if you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason in going down a different path.
Online counselling can fit around your schedule and can be targeted to suit your needs, so you might not be tied for example to a particular appointment at a particular time which might not suit you well. Similarly, it can be immediate and help you at different times of day, depending on the kind of therapy you are receiving.
How does a session work?
A session will be organised by a qualified counsellor, so you can rest assured in the fact that they know what they are doing. It should also be said at this point that by seeing an external practitioner it can relieve pressure on those who are closer to you, who may also be feeling the pressure and may not be able to detach themselves sufficiently from the situation.
In a first session you will usually introduce yourself and the problems you are experiencing, as you see them. You will talk about what it is that you are looking for out of an online counselling session. What is that you want to achieve? How would you like your life or your outlook change?
The counsellor will then come up with a plan, or suggest a particular kind of therapy. For example, CBT would teach you how to think more positively.
The counsellor will work with you over time to put the steps in place. They are there to support you and facilitate the changes required in your life, but ultimately you will be helping yourself. We all need support though, and online counselling can provide this support successfully.
Why not look into it?