A new door-to-door mental health and wellbeing survey in the suburb of Greenacre NSW has found that three out of four survey respondents were experiencing low wellbeing, and one in three was in high or very high psychological distress.

The Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) Project’s People Connectors spoke with and offered information to nearly 1071 householders in Greenacre, 190 of whom then completed a survey of their experiences with mental health and accessing support.

The report from the survey found that of the householders who indicated they would like additional help for their mental health and wellbeing, most preferred more practical supports (50%) and an alternative to hospitals (36%).

Bill Gye, CEO of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), who manages the ACDC Project, says the measures indicative of depression and anxiety were some of the highest in the country in this highly culturally and linguistically diverse site. These were strongly correlated with concerns about financial stress and housing insecurity. There is also a need for culturally informed and flexible services.

“Many people were not comfortable in defining their situation in standard mental health terms, nor were they comfortable seeking help in standard ways. There is a clear need in this area to ensure that local services are not only culturally appropriate but also flexible in their use of language to enable better connection and access to help for this community,” said Mr Gye.

People Connectors from Settlement Services International partnered with CMHA and went door-to-door between May and September 2022. Most of the householders reached in Greenacre had diverse cultural backgrounds. Three out of four people who completed the survey were born outside of Australia and half spoke a language other than English at home.

People Connectors, who were bilingual, 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 early 2023.

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

> For the Community Report from Greenacre CLICK HERE

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

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