A new door-to-door mental health and wellbeing survey has found that 55% of householders indicated that they wanted to seek help for their mental health in the past 12 months.

The Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) Project’s People Connectors engaged with 539 householders in Fitzroy, 336 of whom then completed a survey about mental health and access to services in their community.

The COVID-19 pandemic was the most frequently identified challenge for the people surveyed in Fitzroy, both for individual householders and the community.

Bill Gye, CEO of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), who manages the ACDC Project, says the findings for Fitzroy indicate the need for more resources to be allocated to addressing the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on the community.

“There needs to be planning and expenditure going into post-Covid-lockdown rebuilding and reconnecting communities in Victoria. We want to avoid a long-covid mental health condition being common amongst Victorians,” said Mr Gye.

Climate change was also a significant concern for the Fitzroy community with 42% of the householders indicating that climate change was a large problem in their lives.

People Connectors from JobCo. Employment Service, who partnered with CMHA, went door-to-door between January 2022 and May 2022.

Maria Berkis, from JobCo. Employment Services and manager for the ACDC Project in Fitzroy, says service availability and peer support as a preventative measure is needed in the Fitzroy community.

“People Connectors identified that householders struggled to link in with mental health services due to lack of availability and/or long wait lists. Householders raised that they feel they may be able to address their concerns earlier if they could speak to someone in a less-clinical setting (such as a peer worker), where they can deal with their issues before they are in a crisis.”

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 Fitzroy CLICK HERE

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


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