New peer support program – Connect

By admin March 31, 2019

We are pleased to report that Family Life have been successful in our tender for Connect, a peer support program servicing the Dandenong region, previously managed by beyondblue.

Connect is what is classed as a ‘low intensity’ mental health service that supports people with, or at risk of, mild mental illness. It is intended to form part of an initial service ‘step’ within an overall framework for mental health that increases or decreases in intensity according to need.

Low intensity services are a useful first step in mental health care as they tend to focus on early intervention for at-risk groups, or those with mild conditions or emerging symptoms. They support self-management, emphasise skill development, are short-term and highly focused.

In this model peer support involves the sharing of lived experience to help build skills to manage experiences of depression or anxiety. Peer support workers will partner with volunteers and the broader community with the aim of reducing mental health issues. This aligns with Family Life’s approach to building community wellbeing through collective leadership and action.

Connect will be embedded within our Therapeutic Trauma Response program with oversight by a program coordinator and our program manager, Dawn Wachenuka. The existing staff will remain based at Life Without Barriers in Dandenong, where the Family Life SHINE team are also based.

The program, including its current staff and clients, are currently being transitioned from beyondblue to Family Life. Family Life commenced operations on April 1. Beyondblue will continue to consult to the program until June 2019.

Family Life are excited to expand our mental health support services and look forward to sharing more about this program with you. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Dawn dwachenuka@familylife.com.au

Connect services are funded by South Eastern Melbourne Public Health Network (SEMPHN). To read more about the program click here


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