The good folks at the Black Dog Institute are offering free counselling sessions to people struggling due to the pandemic and its devastating impact on, well, everything.

The mental health research facility has been working on an online program that has been shown to reduce stress and depression during these truly awful times. Whether you’re struggling due to loss of work, or if the thought of this year just makes you want to cry – Black Dog Institute wants to help you.

The goal is to test more people using the program in a free trial to show the success of it, and encourage more people to reach out.

Black Dog Institute is looking for 250 people who would like to take part in six weekly sessions in total, each lasting around 60 minutes long.

If you do decide to take part in the trial, researchers will ask you to complete a quick survey to determine eligibility. If passed, you’ll be allocated into one of two trial conditions.

In the first condition, participants will be taught by an experienced clinical psychologist how to engage in different strategies to manage stress.

The session will be completely virtual and in a group of four.

In the second condition, participants will be given resources to work through in their own time.

“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,” Research Fellow Richard Bryant explained.

“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.

“Our process has already been shown to improve people’s mood and reduce stress levels.”

Sessions can be run during or after office hours and on weekends, depending on participants’ needs. You’ll also be reimbursed $100 after completing all the study components.

To participate, you must be at least 18 years old, speak conversational English, and have experienced stress related to the pandemic.

If you’d like to read more about the study, you can find all the information and register your interest on the Black Dog Institute website, right HERE.

Image: The Office