Last week our Registered Nurse from PYMS answered the call from local service provider to help young homeless people access COVID-19 vaccination.
Passages is a youth engagement hub providing a non-judgmental safe space to our communities’ most marginalised and at risk young people in Perth and Peel. A hub where young people aged 12 to 25 years have a safe, friendly and positive place to access support and referrals to essential services.
It is our mission to help the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the communities we live and work in. Collaborating with other service providers amplifies the impact we can make and we were happy to partner with Passages to reduce the barriers young and vulnerable people face in accessing health care. There are now 30 young people who are on their way to full vaccination. “You can’t always get clients to come to you. Sometimes you have to meet them where they are.”
Embrace @ Telethon Kids Institute is the research collaboration devoted to the mental health of children and young people ages 0-25. Together with their partners, researchers at Embrace want to make a difference to the lives of children and young people who experience mental health challenges.
They are currently conducting an online survey with overarching aim of the study is to identify the top ten priorities for future child and youth mental health research in Western Australia. We are happy to help get the word out as it is this kind of research that informs our work and provides evidence to support services in the community.
If you are between 14-25, or parents/caregivers supporting children and young people (0-25) with behavioural, emotional and/or mental health concerns, and all professionals working in child/youth mental health (including but not limited to clinicians, youth workers, administrators, policy makers) we encourage you to take part in the survey.
Research is so important to identify gaps and needs so that we can provide adequate servicing. Make sure your opinions are heard by following the link below and filling in the survey.
The Integrated Chronic Disease Team have recently taken up residence in Lotteries House on Victoria Street in Bunbury. We have moved our consulting room from Wittenoom Street just a couple of blocks to a more central location which also offers office space for our Dieticians and Diabetes Educators.
There are two entrances on Victoria Street – we are in the building closest to the Urban Bean – Room 2, 99 Victoria Street. Other agencies co-located at Lotteries House include Jobs South West, Palmerston, Volunteering WA, Visability and the Clontarf Foundation. The process for appointments remains the same.
GP down south is located in the building on the right.
This year’s RU OK? Day theme was “Are they really OK?. It encouraged a deeper conversation and asked for regular follow up if we are concerned about a friend or family member.
It is more than a token gesture offered on one day of the year. It is a reminder that we sometimes have no idea what is going on for some people and the simple act of asking, RU OK? Might just change someone’s life. This is even more true for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Family members, someone from your community, a friend, neighbour, team mate or workmate won’t always tell you if they are doing it tough. Sometimes it’s up to us to trust our gut instinct and ask someone who may be struggling with life “are you OK?”, in our own way.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples share a special connection to this country and to each other, through our cultures, communities and shared experiences. Regardless of where we live, or who our mob is, we all go through tough times, times when we don’t feel great about our lives or ourselves. That’s why it’s important to always be looking out for each other. Because we're Stronger Together.
To acknowledge the importance of RU OK? Day, both the Collie and Manjimup offices of Down South Aboriginal Health held morning teas to bring community together and to help people feel comfortable about starting that conversation. Members of each community shared a cuppa and also took away some valuable information about to ask – RU OK?
In recognition of the impact that COVID19 has had on older adults in our communities, the Federal Government has allocated funding to provide extra support to people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 55 years and over across Australia who have experienced feelings of loneliness and a loss of connection as a result of COVID19. GP down south has received part of this funding and will provide free support to older adults living in the South-West region of WA, including Bunbury and surrounds, the Warren Blackwood and Busselton / Margaret River regions. This new program will support older adults to improve their mental health as well as facilitate connections with other services and social networks in an individualised approach, assisting older adults to establish or re-establish connections in their communities and provide one on one mental health support to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Humans are a pack species. Social connections are crucial for us to survive and thrive. COVID19 has affected nearly everyone’s social connections across the world to one degree or another. The fear of contracting COVID19 and the social distancing restrictions put in place mean that vulnerable, older adults living by themselves, became even more isolated due to restrictions on their social connections and connections with their family who may live in other parts of Australia or the world. The impact of COVID 19 may leave older adults more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which can negatively impact their physical health and mental well-being. Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher risks for health problems such as heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline and that socially isolated or lonely adults are more likely to have longer, and more frequent hospital stays. Maintaining social connection and cognitive activity are the keys to a longer, more meaningful life. If you or someone you know could benefit from this FREE extra support, please see your GP or other allied health provider to complete a referral. For more information you can call 9754 3662 or check the mental health information on our website.
COVID-19 support services have been delivered over 13 months to more than 1,000 people from Kwinana to Harvey through a partnership between Anglicare WA and resources company Alcoa.
Anglicare WA was funded by Alcoa’s global charity, the Alcoa Foundation, to deliver financial counselling, family support and mental health services across the local government areas of Kwinana, Murray and Waroona, as well as parts of Harvey and Serpentine-Jarrahdale.
The support was delivered between May last year to the end of June this year with 470 people in the Peel region, 330 in the Upper South West and 250 in the Kwinana area assisted.
Local organisations FinUCAre, GP down south and Allambee Counselling helped with the rollout of services.
Anglicare WA Services Director Philippa Boldy said the year-long project was anticipated to have a lasting impact. “In addition to the immediate support provided, there is now increased integration of existing local support services, as well as increased capacity and investment in local organisations, such as the Community Resource Centres,” said Mrs Boldy.
“Without the initiative and investment from the Alcoa Foundation to fund these COVID recovery services, more than 1,000 people would have missed out on this vital support which has helped them through this difficult, uncertain time.
“Anglicare WA will deliver some services ongoing, such as parenting support in Dwellingup and counselling in Carcoola.” Alcoa Australia Corporate Affairs Manager Suellen Jerrard said the Company wanted to help the communities near where it operated its bauxite mines and alumina refineries in Western Australia through the difficult times associated with the COVID pandemic and was thankful to Anglicare WA and its partners for the real difference the program had made.
“We are proud to be continuing our partnership with Anglicare WA by now supporting the roll out of its Friend in Need initiative, which aims to help people help each other, building sustainability into local support networks,” Mrs Jerrard said.
Designed by Anglicare WA, Friend In Need helps to build the capacity of local leaders to support people going through issues such as mental health, relationship or financial difficulties. It will be rolled out across the same communities as the broader support program through until the end of 2021. People wanting to find out more or register for Friend in Need training should contact their local Community Resource Centre or Anglicare WA at email@example.com. Original article can be accessed here.
Meet our new Regional Manager, South West, Kerry Shaw. Kerry has come to us from the City of Bunbury where she held a number of roles, most recently Team Leader – Strategy. Kerry has worked in Community and Stakeholder Engagement and also managed the People and Place department for the City.
“Working with people in developing community partnerships, but also working to get grass roots projects off the ground to reach positive outcomes is what makes my heart sing”, says Kerry. There is a lot of scope for that with GP down south and Kerry has hit the ground running, immersing herself in the programs and services we offer throughout the South West.
What we didn’t know about Kerry is that she is a qualified Drumbeat facilitator and instead of learning the fine art of sourdough during lockdown, became a certified yoga teacher!
She is married, with four kids, who bravely took on a lap of the country in a Nissan Patrol and camper trailer for 12-months when the kids were 12 and under. Lifetime memories were forged in that experience, but Kerry says that the South West corner of Western Australia is home and she is excited to be working with GP down south on projects like the Bunbury Health Hub.
Kerry had previously worked in mental health, with headspace and is looking forward to returning to the health and wellbeing sector.
Recently the co-locating staff at the Peel Health Hub contributed to a collection of donations for Homelessness Week. The collection included non-perishable food items, toiletries and clothing. The goods were presented to Halo, the Mandurah based charity that supports the local community. Halo runs a soup kitchen for homeless and disadvantaged people. They also run a shelter for homeless to transition into their own accommodation. They provide food, medicine and other welfare items. They can also pay for items people can't afford such as utility accounts, car maintenance and registration, etc.
It is an amazing service for the most vulnerable in our community and we were so happy to be able to help. Well done to all the staff for such generous donations that will enable Halo to continue supporting those most in need
L-R: Amy Matthews representing headspace, Dee Frietag, Manager Halo, Albie Humphries from the Assertive Outreach Team at GP down south.
That was the theme this year as Mandurah organisations came together for Homelessness Week. Nidjalla Wangaan Mia and the Assertive Outreach Team participated in two events to help bring services, clothes and information to people who are living rough.
The first event was hosted by West Aus Crisis Care on the Mandurah foreshore with free activities, food, drinks and give away's from local community services organisations supporting those experiencing homelessness in our community.
The Mobile Health Bus was there and the teams spoke to many people who are in need of services and a hand to guide them in the right direction.
The second event was held on Friday at the Baptist Church in Mandurah organised by Anglicare and St Vincent de Paul. A range of local community services including housing, financial, alcohol & other drug, employment & training, family & domestic violence.
Visitors were able to access hot food, tea & coffee, hampers, haircuts, clothes, sleeping bags and much more. Services to the homeless are much needed in the community and we are pleased that we could offer some support and jackets to those in need.
It’s an expression we use every day, so it might surprise you that the term ‘mental health’ is frequently misunderstood. This is a topic we spend a lot of time on at GP down south. We provide mental health programs and services for youth and adults. We thought we would share this fantastic article from Beyond Blue, which addresses some of the questions frequently hear.
‘Mental health’ is often used as a substitute for mental health conditions – such as depression, anxiety conditions, schizophrenia, and others. According to the World Health Organization, however, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” So rather than being about ‘what’s the problem?’ it’s really about ‘what’s going well?'
''Mental health is about wellness rather than illness''
To make things a bit clearer, some experts have tried coming up with different terms to explain the difference between ‘mental health’ and ‘mental health conditions’. Phrases such as ‘good mental health’, ‘positive mental health’, ‘mental wellbeing’, ‘subjective wellbeing’ and even ‘happiness’ have been proposed by various people to emphasise that mental health is about wellness rather than illness. While some say this has been helpful, others argue that using more words to describe the same thing just adds to the confusion.
As a result, others have tried to explain the difference by talking about a continuum where mental health is at one end of the spectrum – represented by feeling good and functioning well – while mental health conditions (or mental illness) are at the other – represented by symptoms that affect people’s thoughts, feelings or behaviour.
The benefits of staying wellResearch shows that high levels of mental health are associated with increased learning, creativity and productivity, more pro-social behaviour and positive social relationships, and with improved physical health and life expectancy. In contrast, mental health conditions can cause distress, impact on day-to-day functioning and relationships, and are associated with poor physical health and premature death from suicide.
But it’s important to remember that mental health is complex. The fact that someone is not experiencing a mental health condition doesn’t necessarily mean their mental health is flourishing. Likewise, it’s possible to be diagnosed with a mental health condition while feeling well in many aspects of life.
Ultimately, mental health is about being cognitively, emotionally and socially healthy – the way we think, feel and develop relationships - and not merely the absence of a mental health condition. Beyond Blue's vision is that everyone achieves their best possible mental health While Beyond Blue's primary focus is on the needs of people affected by depression, anxiety and suicide, we also believe that a better understanding of what we mean by mental health and how to achieve it will help everyone in Australia reach their full potential. This will also contribute to the prevention of mental health conditions, and support people who have experienced these conditions to get as well as they can and lead full and contributing lives.
Having social connections, good personal relationships and being part of a community are vital to maintaining good mental health and contribute to people's recovery, should they become unwell.