Tools for Resilience and Managing Depression [Interview transcript]


Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest: Roxanie Lebsanft
Guest Bio: Roxy is the co-founder of BareHands, a PACFA & QCA accredited Psychotherapist, an Allied Health Care practitioner specializing on Counselling, Bowen Therapy, Homoeopathy. She has over 12 years clinical experience in private practice, specialising in “stressed” women. She lectured at the College of Natural Medicine in Communication and Counselling Skills for 2 years and has been invited for keynote speaking to organisations on stress management, conflict resolution and resilience skills.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we’ll be talking with Roxy of the Bare Hands Project. This began from a need to fill the need for accessible and affordable education in resilience and relationship skills, designed especially for mums, clinically proven, practical and teachable, so that they can pass the knowledge on to future generations. They have created a range of resources and continue to do so, which are suited to both mothers and health care practitioners alike, to support increasing mental and emotional health. Their particular focus in on early intervention, stopping issues before they cause major dysfunction and harm, before relationships break down and before chronic illness occurs.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar. And today my guest is Roxy Lebsanft. Now Roxy is from an organization called Bare Hands and we’re just about to ask her what it’s all about. Hello Roxy and welcome to Health Professional Radio. Tell us what Bare Hands is all about.

Roxanie Lebsanft: Hi Wayne. Thank you for having us today. What we are is “resilient strategists and educators” so our whole focus is on providing educational products around the early intervention for the minimized depression, anxiety, stress and all its related illnesses. So whole purpose is to help people have the skills that they need for resilience and to be able to build compassionate and sustainable relationships. So we put all our years of clinical experience, all the tools that we’ve seen work in the real chaotic world of family into life strategies and educational products that people can access. Currently, our focus is on helping moms because we see this as being the key people to term a tied on the stress epidemic and really to looking at how do we stop this epidemic of depression that we’re facing. And we think that really moms are the key to that. If we can catch moms, skill them up, give them coping skills and if they can teach that to their kids and teach the kids resilience from hopefully we can future proof generations to come from depression because we really think that you know if we can have kids having consented calm and happy childhood, then we helped create a better generation.

W: And admirable goal Roxy. Now let me ask where you are located and what geographic footprint do you service?

R: We’re located in Brisbane but our geographic footprint, our goal is if we can get resources into every single family home in the western world, any English speaking home then we we’ve done our job.

W: So it’s a service that would translate quite happily around the world in English speaking world?

R: Absolutely. That’s the whole point of our product is because we need resources out there. People need to be able to get their hands on quality education so, definitely.

W: Now you’ve been talking about resilience and depression. We hear a lot about depression. Is there an epidemic of depression on the way?

R: Absolutely. It’s severe, you know I was thinking prior to our conversation this morning what motivated me to start this whole journey. And it was interesting, I was reflecting back to a particular day in clinical practice because I’m a healthcare practitioner. And there was a day about three years ago when I was in my third child who I’ve seen for many weeks and this little boy came in. His mom brought him in, he was 9 years old. And his mom brought him in and he said to me, “I want to kill myself. I’ve thought about hanging myself from my bunk bed with my school belt.” And he was the third child I’ve seen in these many weeks. Now I haven’t seen that in all of my years of clinical practice, not in children or young. And that is a reality and we’re facing it every increasingly. You know I was talking to a friend literally last night and she’s a teacher at a local high school. She’s been teaching for the last 25 years and I said, “How’s it going?” And she said, “Rotten.” And so I said, “What’s going on?” And she said, “I heard at the beginning of the week that one of my ex-students, 25 years old, a beautiful girl…” She said she took her life from depression and it was a good family, that this was a loving family, they’re incredibly devoted and she just couldn’t cope with the depression. This is happening all around us. It’s a daily event and it will be the biggest killer in the next few years. It’s crazy.

W: I know that there has been a media policy for some years now of not publicizing suicides, particularly youth suicide. But I’m of the view it’s such a big problem. Now it’s time we started talking out loud about it.

R: I think we have to. I think we have to be real about what’s going on. Yes there’s two ways of looking at it, you don’t want to make it trendy or you don’t want to insight that sort of action. And so we have to be very careful and mindful about what sort of information we’re putting out for public viewing that I think we have to be real about how bad this problem is. It really is gonna be the biggest thing as clinicians that we’re facing and gonna have to treat. But the problem is most people aren’t seeking help so the reality is I know that I’m likely to see only 10% or less of the people that really need help through my clinical practice so how do we actually get out there and actually get information available that’s gonna stop at its earliest point? That’s the whole purpose of what I’m about.

W: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. I’m in conversation with Roxy Lebsanft from Bare Hands. And Roxy, a little while ago in the interview you spoke about resilience and I’m curious to understand what resilience is in your context and how you go about improving it?

R: To my mind, resilience is having buffers. When you have a challenge come at you or you have life happen or you have the chaos around you, how do you buffer yourself from say integral to the things that actually matter? Living out at a value base system, living out to compassion, living out to your integrity and be able now to communicate that or be and behave in such a way that you actually build long term sustainable healthy compassionate relationships. So fundamentally, I think how do we first of all understand ourselves and where we’re coming from and what matters and live in accordance with that? And then how do we feel comfortable enough communicating that and behaving in a way that engages with people so that we model that? And if we can model it, then we teach it. And that’s what I’m passionate about. You know if you could get mothers modeling good coping skills themselves, actually looking after themselves first and then showing their kids that you can actually have a life that you want to live, then start communicating and conflict in a way that’s positive that actually builds connection and builds compassion, then we have resilience.

W: Now Roxy a lot of our audience work in hospitals and clinicians, what message would you like to get across to them?

R: The message I’d like to get across to them is that there are resources out there. You know if as practitioners we can compile our knowledge and actually start using the resources that we’re all creating. And getting that to be common knowledge and getting people accessing those resources then we start to make a difference. If we can actually get in early, start teaching early, getting people seeking help before they’re in crisis mode, that would be my goal. See at the moment, we’re looking at a mental health crisis so people we’re so focused on late intervention. How do we catch people at the very end when they’re already in break down? What about if the healthcare cohort we look at “Well how do we stop the breakdown?” What’s the earliest point of intervention and how do we start getting that out as a resource into the community because that’s where healthcare really starts. Not from the latest point but from the early point if we want long term results and long term health change, we need to start earlier. It’s too late when we’re already in crisis.

W: Very true. Now Roxy one of my favorite questions, what’s the greatest misconception amongst your peers, patients, customers, cohort that drives you nuts and keeps you awake at night?

R: The thing that drives me nuts is that it doesn’t have to be such a struggle and yet we keep allowing ourselves to make it a struggle. If we would only overcome those three big hurdles. You know first of all, admitting that when we need help there’s help there and actually being able to be vulnerable to access it. And to have affordable resources out there and to put ourselves first and put that education first. But the thing that drives me nuts most of all is that mothers are struggling, they really are. You know they spend $20,000 or more a year on stuff to help them feel good, like beauty therapy, like massage but most of the things that’s not gonna change the long term results. We need to start spending money on things that actually gonna make a difference and I believe that education, I really believe it starts with education first. For can we somehow take away the struggle, start with education first and start actually changing our future in a way that it’s gonna create positive impact -that’s drives me nuts that we’re not accessing education that will buffer ourselves with all of these instant gratification. It’s not changing things.

W: Now speaking of education, how can people get hold of you?

R: They can get hold of us at on our website. We’ve got a range of resources there. We’ve got free weekly blogs, we’ve got online programs, we’ve got a resilience strategy program for child educators and clinicians that they could give to their clients as a strategy around stress busting and building resilience – a whole range of resources. So please hop on to our website and check it out.

W: And that Bare Hands is spelled B A R E H A N D S.

R: So the reason we called it Bare Hands because if you think, “Is that massage?” No. We actually believe that people within themselves, they’re already enough and if we could just join together and provide education and start spreading compassion and knowledge – that will make a difference.

W: A goal that I hope was very successful for you and for all of us. Roxy Lebsanft from the Bare Hands Group, thank you for time this morning. A transcript of this interview’s on our website at and there’s SoundCloud archive as well. This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.

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