February 28 2022

Partnership brings mental health support to regional communities

The OzHelp Foundation (“OzHelp”), a leading suicide prevention organisation, with the support of COORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN, is providing mental health support to regional communities through agricultural shows.

OzHelp teams are visiting a number of shows in the South Eastern NSW region to provide physical and wellbeing health checks. The health checks are provided by a qualified OzHelp nurse and wellbeing support worker, and allow participants the opportunity to discuss their health and wellbeing.

OzHelp has attended shows in Moruya and Cobargo, and will also attend the Milton, Braidwood, Goulburn, and Taralga shows in early March.

Skye Haffner, OzHelp’s Partnerships & Engagement Manager recently attended the Cobargo Show and saw first-hand the community response to OzHelp’s on the ground health checks.

“Rural and regional community members have welcomed OzHelp’s presence at the shows and taken advantage of the opportunity to have a private chat about their personal wellbeing and a brief health check with one of our nurses,” said Ms. Haffner.

“Our team said people really appreciate the opportunity to get a health check, with many saying it is always difficult to find the time. It is also really clear that communities have been through a tough few years, and a chat about how they are going is welcome. Our team is especially enjoying connecting and building relationships within each community,” she said.

Dianne Kitcher, CEO of COORDINARE said a place-based approach is vital to supporting local communities.

“We conducted wide-reaching community and stakeholder consultation in August last year as part of our role in supporting our communities as they recover from natural disasters. Central themes and findings of the consultation highlighted the need for outreach services for those in the rural areas of our regions, especially males,” said Ms. Kitcher.

“COORDINARE’s partnership with OzHelp addresses priorities identified in the region’s health needs assessment, taking health and wellbeing services direct to residents, providing guidance on accessing and seeking help, and referrals to local health, mental health, and social services, where needed,” she said.

“In partnership with OzHelp, we are bringing health and wellbeing support to the people, to help raise awareness, reduce the stigma around mental health and allow participants to feel supported,” she added.

You can find the OzHelp Team at the following shows, so drop in for a health check or just a chat:
  • Milton Show Society 4th and 5th of March 2022.
  • Goulburn Show 5th March 2022.
  • Taralga Show 12th and 13th of March 2022.