Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Pinned discussions

Ask Coach Craig - Our Resident Mental Health Clinician!


Hi everyone,

This is a thread for asking questions of our resident Mental Health Nurse, Craig who pops into the forums regularly.

PLEASE NOTE as per our community rules, Coach Craig won't be able to answer questions about medications, these are best discussed offline directly with your mental health professional.


  • Coaches time is limited! We cannot provide an ongoing dialogue with COACH in this thread - one post/question per person please
  • We'd recommend you have a look through the forums before posting here to see if your question has already been answered by Coach Craig, our other members, or if there's information about it already on the Beyond Blue website.
  • If a question pops up that has already been answered previously, or if alternate resources are available, one of our moderators will reply and direct you to the link.
  • When writing your question, imagine you are speaking to someone in person i.e. provide a clear and detailed post with enough information that outlines how The Coach can help you.


Background Information - From Coach Craig

 I have been involved in mental health nursing since the mid 1980’s, during my career, I have held a plethora of different roles and had many awesome experiences, I have received 2 national awards and have been awarded with a fellowship to the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses. I chose mental health nursing as I soon realised that I didn’t seem to fit into the traditional ‘medical model’ of delivering care.

 I have worked as a nurse, manager, educator, project officer, advocate, within Youth, teenagers, Adults and Older persons mental health, both in traditional hospital settings and primary based GP clinics. I am also a trained Nurse Therapist in ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy). I am also trained as a life coach.

I am thankful that I can walk alongside people who need some support, encouragement, and advice around there own mental and emotional health.


34 Replies 34

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Coach Craig

Often we get members that experience relationship difficulties. Is there different types of counselors that can be chosen to suit their needs. Eg couples with children issues, step parent problems or relationship problems with one or both parties suffering mental illness symptoms that interfere with their day to day lives.

Choosing the right counselor for their specific problems would fast track their counseling path dont you think.? What are the different counseling services available to members?


Hi Coach Craig,

I'd like to ask with reading hospital discharge record. It says "Diagnosies" and "Cluster B personality structutre" and then a name. Does the psychiatrist diagnosed me with a personality disorder?

I call hoispital to ask and they sayd ask GP. I don't have GP.

Hello White Knight..

Indeed selecting the right service or supports to support relationship difficulties is indeed a tricky one.

When i need relationship advice on who to refer people to, one of my go to services is Relationships Australia

At a Family Relationship Centre families can access information and advice on:
Building and strengthening relationships
Early intervention and prevention services
Child-friendly services for families in conflict
Family dispute resolution services
Parenting plans
Re-partnering and stepfamily arrangements

Information and referral to other services, that require specialist interventions
You can find them on - 1300 364 277 (for the cost of a local call).

Thanks for reaching out

Hi Guest 2536,

Thanks for reaching out with your post.

I have included some information / advice for you.

Cluster B personality disorders affect a person’s emotions and behaviors, leading to actions that others tend to consider dramatic, overly emotional, or erratic.

A personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects the ways that a person thinks, behaves, and relates to others.
These disorders can lead to significant distress and, in many cases, destructive and harmful coping strategies.

People with cluster B disorders typically have trouble regulating their emotions and struggle to maintain relationships.

There are four types of cluster B personality disorders, each with a different set of diagnostic criteria and treatments:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder

What are cluster B personality disorders?
People with these disorders typically have difficulty regulating their emotions and maintaining relationships.
Their behavior may come across as dramatic, erratic, or extremely emotional.

Healthcare professionals use a guide called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), to help diagnose mental health conditions.
The DSM-5 identifies three main clusters of personality disorders:

Cluster A: A person with this type behaves in a way that others consider unusual or eccentric. There are three cluster A disorders: paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders.

Cluster B: A person with this type has difficulties regulating their emotions and behavior. Others may consider their behavior dramatic, emotional, or erratic.
There are four cluster B disorders: antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic personality disorders.

Cluster C: A person with this type behaves in anxious or avoidant ways. There are three cluster C disorders: avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders.

People with a personality disorder are likely to experience other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, depression, or substance use disorders.

If you require any further information it would be great for you to discuss it with a GP, as you don’t have one,You may be interested in checking out our ‘find a professional’ page on our website where you can search for suitable General practitioner  in your area: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/find-a-professional


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Craig

I was wondering what your thoughts were on: Mental Health Peer Support Workers

Many Mental Health Clinicians and Patients have never heard of them (I graduate in a few months).

We are a new improvement in the system. Just interested in your opinion.



Mental Health Peer support workers are an absolute asset to the mental health community, providing that consumer partnership journey.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Irene...

I was recently in hospital and the peer workers their was amazing...They take us out for walks and do the groups, which are usually based on coping tools for our mental health..and are their for us if we need to talk...

I think peer workers are amazing people..and I wish you nothing but the best in your new role Irene....

My kind thoughts..


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
peer workers fill an important gap in MH services. I'm very lonley and isolated, and peer workers do things that accompany me emotionally and with their presence on my journey.
They would go for walks with me and chat to me while i was in hospital.
I am grateful and hope peer worker continues to grow within hospitals, and also that they get paid better for their vital contribution to the mental health space.

Community Member

Hi Coach Craig!

I am a new member who is trying to drag himself out of the pit of depression and crippling anxiety. I have been in a downward spiral for a few years now, made worse by COVID-19.

One thing I have been trying to come to terms with is the undignified collapse of my former career. After almost 20 years in the public service, a combination of personal and professional crises bore down on me and, from about 2016 through to mid-2018, my performance at work went from bad to disgraceful. I ended up asking for redundancy, which was granted. My redundancy payout disappeared within 6 months or so and I have suffered extreme financial hardship in the last couple of years, including being evicted from my home more than once. It was so traumatic and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Anyway, I have stumbled upon some hope and optimism in recent weeks (well, enough to reach out from my cave anyway) and am trying to pick up the pieces. I have decided to apply to my superannuation fund for "deemed total and permanent incapacity" on the grounds of a psychological disorder. To do so, I need a "report or reports of one or more medical practitioners submitted with the request". The problem is that I don't have a regular doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Can you recommend a suitable practitioner in Canberra or perhaps point me in the right direction?

Many thanks, Max