Safe, supported, connected

Whether it’s a farmer in outback Queensland for whom people are too far away, or a woman in Melbourne who finds people can be all too close, Mind’s mobile outreach support teams are tailoring the support people need to strengthen their mental health and build a better, more connected life in the community.

Mind has been working with a range of clinical partners delivering psychosocial support where and how it is needed. We have been contracted to deliver support services by hospital services in metropolitan and country Victoria as part of a program called Early Intervention Psychosocial Support Response (EIPSR).

We are thrilled to be providing a similar service through the Individual Recovery Support Program (IRSP) in Cairns and Mackay in Queensland – and a group support program there, which you can read about here.

Mind is implementing the technology to make our support teams mobile and adaptable so they can go to people where help is needed, covering large geographical areas.

Mind staff worked with each client to find the best way to maintain the support and connection they need.

As you will see from the stories in this edition, how we support people depends on their needs. Sometimes it is very practical support like helping farmer Phil get his driver’s licence reinstated and sometimes it is slowly building someone’s confidence, like Lavender, to feel safe enough to start to step out into the world beyond her front door.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia, we had to change how we deliver many of these services. Mind had an obligation to take measures to minimise infection transmission to protect its clients and we are proud that we responded in a timely and considered fashion.

For the majority of our outreach clients this meant pausing our in-person visits and moving to telephone and virtual support. Just as they had in the bush res earlier this year, our support staff did a magnificent job ensuring their clients were safe and working with each individually to find the best way to maintain the support and connection they need.

Social isolation is a major issue for many of our outreach clients so Mind undertook vulnerability mapping to ensure that at risk clients were identified and are closely monitored to ensure they are safe and have the necessary support and connection.

As the different states and territories cautiously begin to roll back their restrictions, Mind is returning to in-person support when and where it is approved and safe to do so. The health, safety and wellbeing of our clients and staff is our number one priority.