Boost to regional mental health services for older people

An exciting new service providing mental health education and support for older people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Summer bushfires is now available across South Eastern NSW. Continuing to be Me @ Home (C2beMe@Home), funded by COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, is designed to reinforce older peoples’ identity and purpose, increase connectedness and optimise functioning so they can continue to live with dignity. CEO of COORDINARE, Dianne Kitcher, said the service will provide short-term therapies to people aged 65+ who live at home and are experiencing social isolation or loneliness. “We are delighted to be able to fund this service and know that many older people in the community, along with their family and/or carers, will benefit from it,” said Ms Kitcher. “The program will promote and coordinate connections to services, as well as improve access to physical and mental health services for older people.” This new service is delivered and managed by Parramatta Mission – a ‘for purpose’ organisation within the Uniting Church, Australia. There is no cost to consumers to access this service. Acting CEO of Parramatta Mission, Mark Newton, said the C2beMe@Home team will work with GPs, health services, community groups and broader services to raise awareness of social isolation and/or loneliness which may be experienced by older people due to the pandemic, and the increased risk of mental ill-health that this may cause. “Given the recent challenges as a result of COVID-19, we have adapted our ways of working to ensure risks to older people living at home are mitigated, while ensuring that C2bMe@Home is still able to provide a quality service,” said Mr Newton. “We offer a flexible service with educational discussions and learning opportunities for the older person, their family, and/or carers or a community group. We can offer this via faceto-face sessions, telephone or video counselling.” Ms Fiona Phillips MP, Member for Gilmore, welcomed the announcement and the continued focus on supporting older people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the 2019/20 bushfires. “This wonderful new service will benefit so many older people in the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla by enhancing hope and reducing symptoms while also supporting families and carers during this challenging time,” said Ms Phillips. For more information about the C2bMe@home program, or to express your interest in having your patient/client attended to by C2bMe@home, go to www.parramattamission.org.au/mh-service/c2bme/ Alternatively, the C2bMe@home team can be reached at c2bme.sensw@parramattamission.org.au


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