New mental health initiative enhances support for aged care residents

New mental health initiative enhances support for aged care residents

A new mental health initiative has expanded support options for aged care residents in the region, showing promising outcomes.

Lives Lived Well, a not-for-profit healthcare organisation, recently launched the Residential Aged Care Home (RACH) Group Program. Made possible through funding from the Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network (PHN), this free program offers vital support to those living in residential aged care homes across the Darling Downs and West Moreton regions who either have a diagnosed mental health condition or are at-risk of developing mental ill-health.

Lives Lived Well CEO Mitchell Giles emphasised the importance of mental health across all stages of life.

“Positive mental health is not just crucial; it’s fundamental to overall wellbeing, regardless of age or living situation,” he said.

“While the prevalence of mental illness tends to decrease with age, it remains more common among specific groups of older Australians, such as those living in permanent residential aged care.

“We are grateful to Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN for supporting this much-needed program, enabling us to ensure residents in local facilities have the support they need to live their lives well.”

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing, a significant proportion (87%) of people living in permanent residential aged care experience mental health or behavioural conditions, with 49% diagnosed with depression.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Lucille Chalmers explained the program’s alignment with local need.

“In addition to our health data, we have engaged with older people who have told us they want more access to mental health services and social connection programs to help maintain their wellbeing,” said Ms Chalmers.

“This program will work cohesively with GPs, specialist mental health services and RACHs to ensure suitable mental health care is made available to residents.

“We are proud to work with Lives Lived Well as they deliver this important program.”

The RACH Group Program consists of six sessions to support residents in creating connections, understanding mental health, identifying unhelpful thinking patterns, developing coping skills that enhance wellbeing, building confidence and setting goals for the future.

Karla Smith, Team Leader for Clinical Services at Lives Lived Well, leads the program and shared encouraging insights into its early success.

“We’ve been actively engaging with over 20 aged care homes in the region to introduce the program, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” she said.

Access to this program is easy, as there is no requirement for a specialist or GP referral. Residential aged care homes and individuals interested in learning more about the RACH Group Program are encouraged to contact Lives Lived Well. For more information visit www.liveslivedwell.org.au/our-services/mental-health/residential-aged-care-home/.

*Source: Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW), 2023, Older Australians – selected health conditions, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australians/contents/health/health-disability-status#Mental%20health

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Lisa Maynard, Marketing and Communications Manager, Lives Lived Well

E.[email protected] M. 0428 433 572

About Lives Lived Well

Lives Lived Well is a not-for-profit healthcare provider that offers evidence-based services across Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. The organisation specialises in supporting people with concerns related to alcohol and other drugs (AOD), mental health, transitioning from corrective services, veterans’ wellbeing and gambling. Learn more at www.liveslivedwell.org.au.

About Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN
Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is one of 31 primary health networks around Australia. Our role in the health system is to both support primary health – the healthcare people seek first in their community, such as GPs, pharmacies and allied health professionals – as well as work with our partners to ensure the right care is there for those who need it most. Learn more at www.ddwmphn.com.au.

headspace Southport brings mental health workshop to 1000 Gold Coast students

headspace Southport brings mental health workshop to 1000 Gold Coast students

This week, 1000 Gold Coast high school students attended a stigma busting mental health workshop series, co-delivered by headspace Southport and nationally recognised mental health and suicide prevention initiative, The Champions. This was the first time this innovative program was presented in Queensland – made possible with funding from the Gold Coast City Council and leadership by Councillor Brooke Patterson, of Division 6.

Known for its highly effective results, The Champions workshop was developed by advocate and educator, Nic Newling. It’s based on the belief that real conversations are contagious. By sharing stories from his lived experience of a mood disorder and losing his brother to suicide in high school, Newling captivates students by broadening their understanding of mental health issues and suicide, and challenges negative perceptions of mental illness and help-seeking.

Three workshops took place over three days, at Benowa SHS (February 5), Southport SHS (February 6), and Merrimac SHS (February 7). It was delivered to over 300 students at each high school in Years 10 and 11. The goal of the workshops being to break down the three biggest barriers that young people face when it comes to accessing professional mental health support: feeling stigma or shame, concerns around confidentiality, and not knowing where to go for help.

“Schools are the perfect environment to engage young people with mental health and suicide prevention programs. We have a captive audience to work with who are primed to learn and are at the age of development where these messages are super relevant to them personally. We’re also able to provide something a bit more captivating than the average maths class which means students sit up and pay attention pretty quickly,” said Newling.

At each high school, students were focused and engaged as Newling openly shared his lived experience and mental health stories. After the presentation, a lively question-and-answer period provoked honest questions and meaningful insights for students and educators in the room.

One student saying that, “It was really inspirational,” and another commenting, “It was so different to other workshops on this topic and really relatable”.

headspace Southport clinicians were also present to educate students on how to access its free, inclusive, and confidential mental health support.

The lead agency for headspace Southport is Lives Lived Well. In September 2023, The Champions approached the not-for-profit organisation as a partner to bring this high-value program to Queensland for the first time. Recognising the importance of proactive mental health awareness, Councillor Brooke Patterson, Councillor for Division 6, awarded headspace Southport funding to bring The Champions to local high schools in the district. The funding awarded was from the City of Gold Coast’s Discretionary Grants Program, a program designed to support community organisations to meet changing community, social, environmental, and economic objectives, intended to benefit a particular divisional area.

Lives Lived Well CEO Mitchell Giles expressed gratitude, saying, “Our sincere thanks go to Gold Coast City Council for supporting this collaborative initiative and helping us raise awareness of mental health.”

“With one in four young Australians experiencing a mental health issue each year, the need has never been greater to increase awareness of mental health, encourage destigmatising conversations, and ensure young people know how to access mental health support when they need it.”

To access free, inclusive, and confidential mental health support, young people can reach out to headspace Southport at 07 5509 5900 or visit headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/southport/ for more information about the services offered.

For Lives Lived Well media enquiries please contact:
Lisa Maynard, Lives Lived Well, Marketing and Communications Manager, 0428 433 572, [email protected]

 

Veteran and families lives to be lived well in Adelaide

Veteran and families lives to be lived well in Adelaide

Today (18 January), Lives Lived Well celebrates a significant milestone, having secured a $5.445 million grant for the establishment of a new Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in Elizabeth. This announcement was made by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh and Member for Spence, Matt Burnell.

Located close to RAAF Base Edinburgh, the expansion of the Hub network into Adelaide’s northern suburbs will see more than 10,950 local veterans and their families access improved specialist services close to home.

According to Minister Keogh, “While each veteran community around the country is different, Lives Lived Well will be able to bring the experiences and insights gleaned at their Caboolture Veterans’ and Families’ Hub to Elizabeth.”

The Hub will not only be the centre of veteran community connection, it will also feature a range of tailored services seeking to accelerate access to health, advocacy, employment, financial, housing and transition support, as well as referral to other veteran service providers.

Member for Spence, Matt Burnell, emphasised that “this Veterans’ and Families’ Hub will provide a wide range of support services that were developed by Veterans, for Veterans, and their families. Years of in-depth consultation with the relevant communities has helped progress this project, and today marks an important day for the northern suburbs’ Veteran community.”

With more than 40 years’ experience in providing mental health and wellbeing support, Lives Lived Well will bring their expert perspective to supporting the South Australian veteran community.

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Althaus, Director of Lives Lived Well, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to establish and operate the Hub. He highlighted the not-for-profit’s ongoing commitment to work with a consortium of ex-service organisations and local providers, including Open Arms, to make the Hub a comprehensive, one-stop shop for critical services for local veterans and their families.

“Through the business case process, Lives Lived Well has worked closely with Legacy South Australia to gain insights into local needs and build up what service delivery will look like through these northern suburbs,” he said.

He added, “A special thank you to the Department of Veterans Affairs for recognising the importance of these hubs and supporting our plans to launch an accessible, responsive, high-performing hub.”

The expansion of the Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs network in Northern Adelaide is part of the Government’s $46.7 million commitment to deliver ten new Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs across the country.

For further details on Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs, visit www.dva.gov.au/vfhubs.

To learn more about the Veterans’ and Families’ Wellbeing Hub in Caboolture, opened by Lives Lived Well in 2023, visit www.liveslivedwell.org.au/veterans-and-families-hub/.

Lives Lived Well supports Safer Schoolies Response

Lives Lived Well supports Safer Schoolies Response

The Queensland Government implemented the Safer Schoolies safety initiative in 2003 due to the large number of Year 12 students celebrating their graduation on the Gold Coast.

Twenty years later in 2023, it is estimated that over 15,000 school leavers participated in Schoolies Week activities. Safer Schoolies ensures that year after year, there is the infrastructure in place to support young people during this week.

Although Lives Lived Well has participated in Schoolies Week in different capacities before, this year marked our official inclusion in the Safe Schoolies Response.

“As part of the Safer Schoolies Response, Lives Lived Well operated the Day Space, Welfare Space and Late Night Service, helping ensure there was always a safe and supportive environment for young people in need of wellbeing support,” Lives Lived Well CEO Mitchell Giles explained.

“The Day Space on Surfers Paradise Esplanade served as a hub for information and a relaxed environment for school leavers to chill out, the Welfare Space catered to those feeling overwhelmed or in psychological distress, and the Late Night Service offered wellbeing assessments, support and referrals.”

In the Welfare Space alone, we provided care to 95 clients. Thanks to generous staff contributions of clothing, blankets, and sanitary products, we ensured that Schoolies felt warm, dry, and comfortable. Additionally, our headspace services donated bean bags and pillows. Lives Lived Well is grateful for the opportunity to support school leavers to have a memorable and safe celebration. We enjoyed being able to demonstrate our values and skills in action, with solid clinical governance frameworks to back our work.

Other participating services included Rosies, Red Frogs, Event-Co, Queensland Police, SES, Gold Coast University Hospital and the Gold Coast Youth Service Recharge Zones.

For all media enquiries please contact:

Lives Lived Well Marketing team by emailing [email protected]

LLW staff at Schoolies

Announcing the Lives Lived Deadly Award winners

Bel Little receiving Deadly Award for Leadership Excellence

Bel Little received the Deadly Award for Leadership Excellence

Lives Lived Well is proud to share the recipients of our 2023 Deadly Awards. In their second year, these awards showcased the outstanding work being done across our organisation and in communities in support of reconciliation and Closing the Gap.

A panel composed of members from our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Group, along with the expertise of Eddie Fewings, Engagement and Sector Development Lead from QNADA, recently convened to review nominations and make their recommendations. The panel were impressed with the depth and diversity of the nominations across four categories.

Among the standout nominees is Aunty Roslyn Doyle, who has been deservedly recognised with the 2023 Deadly Award for Clinical Delivery. Her unwavering commitment shines through the nominations, and one heartfelt endorsement encapsulates her impact:

“A true teacher and humble human, Aunty Ros’ contribution to our team’s continued growth can’t be understated. The road hasn’t been without challenges, and she rises to meet each of them with honesty and integrity.”

Another exceptional story unfolded before our eyes through the nominations received —the story of The Strong Community Program Team. Their exceptional achievements in a short span have served as an inspiration. Recognised with the Deadly Award for Community Engagement, the team’s contributions extend beyond our organisation, as a nomination comment highlights:

“Staff have forged strong relationships with other Aboriginal Medical Services and NGOs, Government Arms and is now core members on several interagency/network groups…The Strong Community staff are renowned in the Northern Rivers community for “doing what we say we’re going to do”.

Our heartfelt congratulations also extend to Kim Farrell, the recipient of the Deadly Award for Connection to Country. Her passion for sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture resonates in her interactions with clients and colleagues. She consistently seeks opportunities to commemorate events like NAIDOC Week and community gatherings.

Bel Little is lauded for her outstanding Leadership Excellence, securing her well-deserved Deadly Award. She has consistently showcased exceptional leadership, with a nominator sharing she, “works above and beyond for her community”.

The Lives Lived Well Deadly Awards are an initiative of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2023-2025, which was recently endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

 

The 2023 Lives Lived Well Deadly Awards Winners

Deadly Award for Community Engagement

Winner: The Strong Community Program Team

Special mention to: Aunty Roslyn Doyle, Team Nana Muru and Karla Priestly

Deadly Award for Clinical Delivery

Winner: Aunty Roslyn Doyle

Special mention to: The Strong Community Program Team and Tiff Blake

Deadly Award for Connection to Country

Winner: Kim Farrell

Deadly Award for Leadership Excellence

Winner: Bel Little

Special mention to: Hope Lewis, Canditta Wilson and Jody Wilcox

 

Aunty Roslyn Doyle receiving Deadly Award for Clinical Delivery Deadly Award for Connection to Country Kim Farrell receiving Deadly Award for Connection to Country
Aunty Roslyn Doyle received the Deadly Award for Clinical Delivery Deadly Award for Connection to Country Kim Farrell received the Deadly Award for Connection to Country
Lives Lived Well supports Safer Schoolies Response

Lives Lived Well supports Safer Schoolies Response

The Queensland Government implemented the Safer Schoolies safety initiative in 2003 due to the large number of Year 12 students celebrating their graduation on the Gold Coast.

Twenty years later in 2023, it is estimated that over 15,000 school leavers participated in Schoolies Week activities. Safer Schoolies ensures that year after year, there is the infrastructure in place to support young people during this week.

Although Lives Lived Well has participated in Schoolies Week in different capacities before, this year marked our official inclusion in the Safe Schoolies Response.

“As part of the Safer Schoolies Response, Lives Lived Well operated the Day Space, Welfare Space and Late Night Service, helping ensure there was always a safe and supportive environment for young people in need of wellbeing support,” Lives Lived Well CEO Mitchell Giles explained.

“The Day Space on Surfers Paradise Esplanade served as a hub for information and a relaxed environment for school leavers to chill out, the Welfare Space catered to those feeling overwhelmed or in psychological distress, and the Late Night Service offered wellbeing assessments, support and referrals.”

In the Welfare Space alone, we provided care to 95 clients. Thanks to generous staff contributions of clothing, blankets, and sanitary products, we ensured that Schoolies felt warm, dry, and comfortable. Additionally, our headspace services donated bean bags and pillows. Lives Lived Well is grateful for the opportunity to support school leavers to have a memorable and safe celebration. We enjoyed being able to demonstrate our values and skills in action, with solid clinical governance frameworks to back our work.

Other participating services included Rosies, Red Frogs, Event-Co, Queensland Police, SES, Gold Coast University Hospital and the Gold Coast Youth Service Recharge Zones.

For all media enquiries please contact:

Lives Lived Well Marketing team by emailing [email protected]

LLW staff at Schoolies