I’ve just found out that my best friend, Jerome, has been having quite a hard time of late. After that whole thing with his house getting destroyed in that bushfire last year, it’s not surprising. I’m amazed that he’s managed to hold it together as well as he has.

Anyway, he just told me that he’d felt isolated for months after that whole event, during which he was forced to move in with his dad on the Mornington Peninsula. Psychological health aside, he was having logistical troubles with regard to managing life north of Melbourne, which was leaving him anxious and low in energy.

Fortunately, Jerome being Jerome – a thoroughly rational person with a strong sense of his own wellbeing (or lack thereof) – he didn’t wait too long to seek help from a mental health professional. He told me that he initially got a referral to a psychiatrist in Mornington from his GP, who had seen him on a particularly trying day. In a fit of intense sleep deprivation, Jerome had believed he was suffering chronic insomnia and needed a prescription.

As it happened, Jerome’s seemingly impending insomnia disappeared after that GP visit, which he puts down to the relief of knowing that medical professionals would take him seriously if he asked them to. In the end, it was determined by all concerned that he didn’t, in fact, have any condition that needed medicating, and was signed up for a series of counselling sessions.

Jerome tells me that these made all the difference, and he’s now feeling really good, to the extent that he sees the whole fire incident as a blessing in disguise. This surprised me almost as much as finding out what a hard time the guy has been having – he’s just never been the type to go around spouting platitudes. He thinks it’s true, though, and that it’s partly to do with the fact that it’s brought him into closer connection with his wellbeing and mental health.