Locals urged to reach out… anytime!
An initiative to increase awareness of the support available for mental health, or drug and alcohol concerns in South Eastern NSW was recently launched by COORDINARE, in partnership with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, and Southern NSW Local Health District, as we work together across the region to keep our communities safe and well.
According to Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE, the awareness campaign aims to encourage people across the region to reach out for help and is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In times like these people can feel stressed, anxious, sad or overwhelmed by uncertainty. If a person’s mental health is suffering, now is the time to reach out, even if they’ve never felt like this or asked for help before.
“Many aspects of the current situation are stressful, it’s important for us all to be reminded that life doesn’t always go according to plan.
“If you’re not feeling okay, the sooner you talk about your mental health, the sooner you’ll get the help and support you need, to help you move forward and feel stronger,” Ms Kitcher said.
“Whether you or someone you care about has concerns with mental health or drug and alcohol, you are not alone. You may want to help someone who has never felt this way before or already has a diagnosed mental health condition. Help is available, and you can reach out, at any time.”
The campaign includes extensive television, radio, online and social media advertising urging people to talk to someone they trust, visit their doctor, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit www.reachoutanytime.info for information, resources and help.
“There are options which don’t involve seeing a psychologist or taking medication. Your doctor will be able to inform you about online therapies and self-help options available in your local area,” said Adam Bryant, Acting Director Mental Health Services at Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
The campaign will run in South Eastern NSW until the end of September.
“We hope the campaign will increase awareness of support and contribute to better public knowledge and understanding of the range of services available,” Damien Eggleton, District Director, Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs, Southern NSW Local Health District said.
“It means that people in the community, including families and carers, can now more easily find practical information and advice to support them through this challenging time,” he said.