A door-to-door mental health and wellbeing survey has found that 44% of people in Burnie wanted to seek help for their mental health in the last 12 months, but nearly half did not get the help they needed.

The Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) Project spoke with and offered information to over 500 householders in Burnie and Upper Burnie, 138 of whom then completed a survey of their experiences with mental health and accessing support.

The report of the survey found that the main reasons people did not seek help were fear, embarrassment or shame (62%), not knowing where to get help (42%) or preferring to self-manage (41%).

Bill Gye, CEO of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), who manages the ACDC Project, says the findings for Burnie demonstrate the role stigma still has in help-seeking behaviours.

“These findings highlight the fact that shame and stigma around mental health, while getting better relative to 20 years ago, is more prevalent in some communities than others.” said Mr Gye.

“The advantage of the ACDC Project is that by actually going to the people and talking about mental health it normalises speaking about these issues. Often you don’t know what you think about something until you hear yourself say it in conversation.”

People Connectors from Wellways, who partnered with CMHA, went door to door between December 2021 to March 2022.

Kristy Heald, a People Connector for the ACDC Project in Burnie hopes that the ACDC Report will help local services advocate for more support and early intervention programs for those who need it.

“There were a lot of people that spoke about long waiting lists, insufficient services and not knowing what services are available.”

The survey found that one in five people said they would benefit from more support for their mental health and wellbeing, with 78% saying they wanted peer support.

“People spoke about the fact that most people are at point of crisis before receiving any support or intervention. I found it particularly interesting how many people believe they would benefit from peer support. This is support offered by people with lived experience of mental ill-health who are trained to help others,” says Kristy.

People Connectors spoke with householders about their mental health and wellbeing and distributed information about the free support services available in their area.

The ACDC Project is being implemented in communities across all states and territories of Australia to improve wellbeing and collect important data with the assistance of the Centre for Social Impact.

The final report of the ACDC Project, along with recommendations for how the sector can better meet the needs of communities, is scheduled to be released in late 2022.

The ACDC Project is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS).

> For the full findings and Community Report from Burnie CLICK HERE

For more information about the ACDC Project go to www.acdc.org.au


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