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MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

February 9, 2022
Dianah Walter

David Boots is Chair of the SOS Copper Coast Suicide Prevention Network. Last year David accepted the offer to be a Lifeline Ambassador which is a volunteer roll and later became a casual employee of Lifeline assisting with the development of LGBTIQA+ support programs.

He also presents Suicide Prevention workshops across the region. Two years ago he was presented with the Premier’s Certificate in recognition for outstanding Volunteer service.

Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast recently ran an on-line survey across the Yorke Peninsula regarding the community’s needs for mental health support.

At the Community Meetings in Wallaroo on 8/2 David shared some of the compelling (de-identified) data from the survey. Here is an overview.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT on the YORKE PENINSULA

Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast opened its Lifeline Connect Clare in April 2021; the first Connect Centre in South Australia. It provides a one-stop friendly, free and accessible centre aimed at improving social, emotional and psychological well-being by supporting people to connect with local services and community organisations and assisting with practical tasks.

In October and November, an on-line survey was posted to explore the potential for creating a second Lifeline Connect centre on the Yorke Peninsula.

There were 395 responses, of which 85.3% were females and the main respondents (41.27%) were aged 50+.    29.62% rated their own mental health and wellbeing as Poor/Very Poor, 38.73% said their mental health was Satisfactory and only 31.64% Good/Very Good.  92.15% said they have friends/family with mental health issues.

When asked what they think are some of the barriers to accessing help for mental health and wellbeing in their area, the top 5 responses were:

  • Long wait times to see GPs (76.14%)
  • Long wait times to see other medical professionals (eg psychiatrists) (74.11%)
  • Not enough counselling services (71.32%)
  • Concern about confidentiality in a small town (61.93%)
  • Long wait times to see counsellors (57.11%)

Finally, 98.98% said they would support a Lifeline Connect Centre being established in the Yorke Peninsula and 91.9% of respondents said they would be likely to use the YP Connect Centre or refer a friend or family member.

Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast has acquired a building in Moonta.

It has now opened as a Lifeline retail shop and has the rooms to establish a Connect Centre.  The next phase will be to fund the Connect Centre setup and get qualified counselling staff to support the community. ENDS

I have pledged my support to this important initiative.

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