Ageing Wisely: a user-friendly online initiative to boost your mental wellbeing
Christmas and New Year for many people is all about catching up with and spending quality time with friends and family and celebrating the year that was. But for many others, it can also be a time of year for reflection and wondering where to from here. The effect of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns across the country in 2020 has disrupted our everyday life, to say the least. With job losses, income worry, and sudden life changes, came isolation and health concerns for the more vulnerable. For some, feelings of loneliness and depression followed. Until recently there hasn’t been much online to assist our older generation to find ways to cope with the challenges of isolation.
This is about to change. Developed over 10+ years by an amazing team in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University, The Ageing Wisely Online program is specifically designed for older adults 65+years with concerns about their mental wellbeing. Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, it guides people to learn how to manage negative feelings by changing the way they think and understanding the behaviours that promote depression and anxiety.
No matter what your technical ability, the program is intended to be user friendly and is a digital mental health initiative aiming to improve your wellbeing as a whole. Whilst the program revisits skills you are familiar with, it also encourages you to learn new skills which, according to Professor Viviana Wuthridge are “highly effective and will reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression regardless of whether your symptoms are recent or whether you have experienced them for a very long time.”
There are 10 modules available with the intention that one is completed each week over 10 weeks to give you adequate time to put into practice the skills you’ve learned. Each module takes around 30-60minutes to complete. The modules offer instructional videos, interactive activities, and give real-life examples showing how others have used skills learned in the program to improve their wellbeing.
The program is supported by some of Australia’s well-known professional actors, Noelene Brown and Gregory Ross who have come on board as program ambassadors.
The Ageing Wisely Online program is endorsed and funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Beyond Blue. Please note that this online program cannot provide support during a time of crisis so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please phone your GP, local mental health team, a crisis line such as Lifeline on 13 11 14 / Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636, or call 000 for an ambulance.
If you’re interested to learn more about The Ageing Wisely Online program or to register, please visit their website: www.ageingwisely.org.au.
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