By Matthew Lau
Clinical Psychologist Daniel Lazaroo spoke to some 100 young Perth Catholics at Veritas Youth Festival 2018 last weekend on methods of dealing with mental health issues.
Mr Lazaroo ran two workshops titled “Mental Health and Wellbeing” on 7 July at Corpus Christi College in Bateman, with the aim to help the attendees better understand the stigma attached to mental health.
The introductory presentation covered the common psychological problems in today’s society, some coping techniques, and ways to improve one’s mental wellbeing.
“A lot of young people do struggle and find it very difficult to get support. Often things are quite volatile in terms of direction, in terms of figuring yourself out, in terms of developing,” Mr Lazaroo explained in an exclusive interview with The eRecord.
“We talked about some of the more serious issues that people struggle with and how to identify when to get professional help.
“We also talked about some of the negative stigmas around mental health, the difficulties people have, and why we have them in terms of getting assistance.”
Mr Lazaroo explained how to handle situations with those who struggle with mental health problems.
“The first thing is to be empathetic and as loving as you can be to them; that might involve listening, giving some advice, or just by being there.
“If the situation is more severe or chronic, then that could be an indicator to seek professional assistance. They can talk to their doctors or a counsellor,” he added.
In his line of work as a psychologist, Mr Lazaroo deals predominantly with adolescents and young adults.
“I do a lot of assessment and therapy for people with mental health issues, anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, grief and loss, couples counselling, and motivation difficulties.”
His desire to help others greatly influenced his vocation in psychology after dabbling in studying the fields of engineering, business, marketing and communications.
“I tried psychology and found that really interesting. Once I got stuck in that, I pretty much went all the way. So it wasn’t necessarily planned from the outset, but once I started studying psychology, I really liked it.”
One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 experience a mental illness in any given year. The onset of mental illness is typically around mid-to-late adolescence, and youth aged 18 to 24 have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group.
Veritas 2018, organised by Catholic Youth Ministry (CYM), saw more than 900 people in attendance across the three-day event – a record figure for the Perth festival.
CYM’s Matt Lim was the Youth Worker who prearranged the majority of workshop speakers for Veritas, ensuring the agency gathered a broad spectrum of topic areas.
“The Church has many areas that we’re trying to showcase,” Mr Lim said.
“We know that a lot of young people struggle with mental health and we’re trying to get Daniel’s approach on dealing with the stresses of life and mental health, specifically in the Catholic way.”
If you or someone you know requires more information about mental health and emotional wellbeing, email: firstname.lastname@example.org