A new door-to-door mental health and wellbeing survey in the Clarence Valley has found that over a quarter of all respondents surveyed wanted to seek help for their mental health in the last 12 months, however half of these people did not get the care they needed. The primary reason for not seeking help was cost and not knowing where to get help.
The Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) Project’s People Connectors spoke with and offered information to 281 householders in Clarence Valley, 166 of whom then completed a survey of their experiences with mental health and accessing support.
The survey found that COVID-19 pandemic was identified as the greatest individual concern for householders. Housing was identified as the largest community concern.
Bill Gye, CEO of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), who manages the ACDC Project, says that even though the data from the Clarence Valley indicates that the levels of mental health distress in the community are slightly better than the national average, people are still not getting the supports they need.
“In a community that by national comparison is not doing too bad in terms of mental health and wellbeing, there are still many people who are isolated and, for a range of reasons, not getting access to the available supports that would benefit them,” said Mr Gye.
People Connectors from Wellways Australia, who partnered with CMHA, went door-to-door between March 2022 and August 2022.
Tanya Daly, from Wellways Australia and Manager for the ACDC Project in Clarence Valley, says that the ACDC Project was a timely opportunity for householders to be heard and connect to support services in their community.
“The ACDC Project gave the community the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns. Going door-to-door allowed householders to do this in a safe environment and People Connectors had a lot of important and meaningful conversations with people. The Clarence Valley community has been through a lot, with floods and COVID-19. It was helpful to check in with householders during this project to see how they were coping and offer information,” said Ms Daly.
People Connectors spoke with householders about their mental health and wellbeing and distributed information about free support services available in their area.
The ACDC Project has been 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 at the beginning of next year.
The ACDC Project is funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS).
> For the Community Report from the Clarence Valley CLICK HERE
For more information about the ACDC Project go to www.acdc.org.au