Matthew (not real name) was in dire straits. He was anxious, depressed and couldn't cope with his busy job anymore.
He made an appointment with his GP but also wanted to speak to a specialist that would go further than just a band-aid approach and help him make sustainable changes.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is "a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community."
Mental problems cause distress and impact on day-to-day functioning, relationships and physical health.
"There was a need for a service that was easily accessible, friendly and where clients don't have to wait months to access," said Klaudia Gebert, clinic founder, director and psychologist of Self Reflections, that started in August 2017.
"I saw a gap in the Wollongong market for psychological services that were both affordable and of a high standard.
"Also a service that engaged with the community and promoted mental health awareness, not just treated it."
Services offered include psychology, dietetics & nutrition, corporate & wellbeing workshops as well as clinical supervision.
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There is currently a psychologist, clinical psychologist and accredited practicing dietitian along with their admin team of three.
"Using a warm and caring approach, clinicians at Self Reflections help individuals develop greater self-awareness and constructive strategies for managing and dealing with emotional challenges and difficulties, mental and physical health as well as wellbeing," Klaudia said.
"We apply researched and up-to-date treatments to a variety of needs."
Self Reflections prides itself on being collaborative, transparent and respectful of their clients' beliefs, culture, heritage, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity.
"We have set a very high standard of service delivery as an empathetic, safe and non-judgmental support, which we know is paramount for our client's journey to wellness," she added.
"Thanks to the welcoming Illawarra community we had become a finalist in the Local Business Awards in just two years since opening.
"Direct contact in community events allows the community to build trust in our name and the services we offer."
Self Reflections have partnered with Anytime Fitness gyms to promote the benefit of physical health on mental health and participated in suicide prevention events.
They have also partnered with Nickell Business Coaching in their wellbeing retreats by providing workshops on mental strength as part of their three-day business and wellness program.
Self Reflections is committed to providing affordable yet highly professional services, meaning rebates and concession rates to those in extreme financial difficulties, as they believe everyone has a right to quality mental health treatment.
Self Reflections prides itself on its blog topics and social media posts, which introduce the team and allow clients to work through their anxieties and engage with them when they're ready.
Having a good team around alleviates the pressure on you and allows you to develop new skills in managing current difficulties, while building on existing strengths.