A new door-to-door mental health and wellbeing survey has found that more than 50% of householders wanted to seek help for their mental health in the last 12 months, however 37% of these householders did not receive the care they needed.

The Assisting Communities through Direct Connection (ACDC) Project’s People Connectors spoke with and offered information to 774 householders in Toowoomba, 151 of whom then completed a survey of their experiences with mental health and accessing support.

Householders reported that housing (52%), and financial stress (47%) were the largest issues concerning their community. A large proportion of householders (40%) also felt that safety was a significant concern.

The survey also found that a third of householders were experiencing high or very high psychological distress. Of these householders, 60% reported needing more support for their mental health and wellbeing.

Bill Gye, CEO of Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA), who manages the ACDC Project, says the very high levels of emotional distress reported by the Toowoomba householders are particularly alarming.

“The report indicated high levels of very high sustained emotional distress, nearly five times the national average, which is the highest we have seen in the ACDC Project for this particular level,” said Mr Gye.

People Connectors from Momentum Mental Health, who partnered with CMHA, went door-to-door between March 2022 and June 2022.

Debbie Bailey, CEO of Momentum Mental Health, says that there is a need for improvement in service information and navigation to make the community aware of and connect to services in their community.

“Toowoomba has a lot of mental health services and when reports like this show there are barriers like cost or not knowing where to get help, that is a concern. As service providers, we need to do better, and as a community we need to work harder on connecting with each other and helping people navigate where they can get help.”

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 at the beginning of next year.

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

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

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


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