A new door-to-door mental health and wellbeing survey has found that 63% of householders who wanted to seek help for their mental health said they did not get the care they needed. Most of these householders reported a lack of service availability, or the cost and the fear/embarrassment/shame associated with getting help as barriers to seeking support.

The Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) Project’s People Connectors spoke with and offered information to 498 householders in Georgetown, 256 of whom then completed a survey of their experiences with mental health and accessing support.

The report of the survey found that householders approached in George Town were experiencing low wellbeing and high distress with over 50% of people surveyed in George Town reported being in distress, and 1 in 5 householders in very high distress.

The survey also found that 35% of householders felt that they would benefit from additional support for their mental health and wellbeing, especially talking to a professional.

Bill Gye, CEO of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), who manages the ACDC Project, says the findings for George Town indicate a need for additional support services which focus on prevention.

“The strong implication is that there is a large need for additional psychosocial support services in Georgetown. Particularly support services that focus on prevention rather than crisis intervention, as people’s mental health gets worse without any help, support or guidance,” said Mr Gye.

People Connectors from Wellways Australia, who partnered with CMHA, went door to door between January 2022 and May 2022.

Chantelle Henry, from Wellways Australia, Northern Tasmania and line manager for the ACDC Project in George Town, says that the proactive outreach model of the ACDC Project is effective in destigmatising and normalising conversations around mental health.

“The delivery of the program is a very unique way of approaching communities, reducing stigma and allowing residence to talk openly and safely about their identified needs.”

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 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 George Town CLICK HERE

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


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