Mission Australia, Connections Program – Reducing Loneliness in Far West NSW
Outstanding Achievement in Mental Health Promotion Award
The Connections Program is an out-of-hours social connection program wholly staffed by Peer Support Workers with a lived experience of mental ill health. Access to out-of-hours services is a particular issue in the Broken Hill community, creating a reliance on emergency and crisis services. In order to address this issue, Mission Australia and the far West Local Health District, in partnership with consumers and family and carer groups, co-designed the Connections program to provide people with a bridge between inpatient services and the community.
The Men’s Table creates a unique safe environment for men to share openly about their lives and challenges with a group of men who they learn to trust and respect. The approach creates a sense of belonging, community, peer support and camaraderie that is lacking for many men. Belonging to a Men’s Table contributes to mental, emotional and social wellbeing whilst being a powerful support to individual members negotiating life challenges.
The Men’s Table enables groups of adult men to meet on a monthly basis over a meal and share how they feel about the issues impacting on their lives and wellbeing. Each group is locally initiated and self-organising, leadership is shared amongst all members, with support provided by the organisation as needed.
Let's End Loneliness
With a focus on both loneliness and physical social isolation, Let’s End Loneliness is expected to be involved in advocacy for improved social access, as well as supporting services and agencies to be effective in recognizing and addressing loneliness in our elders.
Our Scientific Advisory Committee is comprised of leading researchers with an interest in loneliness, from Australia and abroad. Initially they have generously volunteered their time and expertise in support of this collaborative initiative.
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