31st January 2022

By Jan Richards  

Dr Carly Fay is a vibrant, approachable and engaging young woman with a sense of humour her clients appreciate.  

“I think it helps to sometimes bring a sense of humour to some of the dark times, you need some light times as well,” she said.    

Carly joined Bloomhill as a clinical psychologist in November 2021. She has a background in oncology, having worked for ten years with the Cancer Council Queensland and for the Brisbane Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Service at the PA Hospital, where she specialised in oncology as a psychologist on the ward. She has also run many mindfulness groups in Brisbane for people who have been impacted by cancer.      

Carly, her husband, and three sons under five, moved here in January from Brisbane and are settling into life on the Sunshine Coast.  

“We had been trying to move to the Sunny Coast for quite some time. We wanted to get back to the coastal lifestyle,” Carly said.  

While working with the Cancer Council, Carly had heard about Bloomhill. “I knew they offered a lot of different services. I was impressed that they care about supporting the whole person, not just one aspect.” Her colleague Samantha Clutton, who works at Bloomhill, encouraged her to apply. “I’m really excited, it’s work I really enjoy, very meaningful work. It’s a role I feel comfortable in.”  

Carly is also impressed by the huge volunteer presence at Bloomhill. “It’s incredible the number of volunteers involved in all aspects of operations. Everyone is there to try and support cancer patients in the best way they can. And it’s an incredibly beautiful place, the gardens are stunning and café has the best food.”  

So how does Carly see her role at Bloomhill? “I offer space for people to be able to talk about what’s happening. I offer ways to deal with distress, manage anxiety, lower stress levels, help navigate treatments and adjust to life again once treatment is finished.   

“I’m someone they are able to talk to about what’s happening for them without having to impact another person. Someone who understands a lot about cancer treatments and the experience of cancer.   

“I provide support in decision making and help them think through treatment options. People think about the pros and cons of treatments, but it’s not as simple as that. For example, with many health decisions, it’s often about being stuck between a rock and a hard place - sometimes all the options available are a bit tricky. I help them think about what matters to them, what their information needs are and who can help support them best with making the decision.”  

Carly says of her clients, “In oncology work, 90 percent of clients are people who have never needed to see a psychologist before. Cancer comes in as an external stressor and shakes up every domain of life. It makes sense when there are multiple stressors that people are trying to navigate, that talking to someone experienced in managing that is a good idea.”  

When not working Carly spends a lot of time “chasing three boys around”, she also practices yoga and meditation and grows Phalaenopsis orchids, “they’re incredibly beautiful and the flowers last for months”.  

To make an appointment with Carly phone Bloomhill reception on 07 5445 5794.