A new initiative recently launched across South Eastern NSW is aimed at increasing awareness of support for mental health, or drug and alcohol concerns in the region. According to Dianne Kitcher, CEO of the South Eastern NSW PHN, the awareness campaign includes extensive television, radio, print and social media advertising and is designed to encourage people across the region to reach out for help. “It’s important for people to remember that life doesn’t always go according to plan - tough times can happen to anyone,” Ms Kitcher said. “So whether it is concerns with mental health or drug and alcohol, you are not alone. Help is available, and you can reach out, at any time.” The campaign urges people to talk to someone they can trust, visit their doctor, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit 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 some online therapies and self-help options available in your local area,” she said. “We have also recently launched a mental health digital coaching service called Clevertar which is designed to assist people who are experiencing stress or worry, or feeling overwhelmed. It is free for all people living in South Eastern NSW and is available to download from our website reachoutanytime.info.” The 12-week campaign kicked off in April in South Eastern NSW and will run until June. “We hope the campaign will increase awareness of support and contribute to better public knowledge and understanding,” Ms Kitcher said. “It means that people in the community including families and carers can now more easily find practical information and advice.” This campaign is supported by funding from COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW through the Australian Government’s PHN Program.
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