COVID crackdowns have got many climbing the walls with anxiety and stress - so two new services aimed at boosting the well-being of local residents have been welcomed.
Remedy Healthcare has won the contract to deliver programs which will list people's state of mind - especially for those who are experiencing isolation.
The programs can be accessed at no charge by local residents, and broadly use a self-help framework.
Julie Sturgess, Healthy North Coast CEO, said access to free support services for people living with mild mental illness on the North Coast was a priority.
"For people needing support with managing stress or worry, it's so important that we have services available to provide help when and where needed, so that support can be accessed early," Ms Sturgess said.
"After a competitive tender process, Remedy Healthcare has been contracted to deliver two new programs to support people over 16 to improve their mental and emotional well-being, especially people experiencing isolation, and those in rural and remote locations.
"'The ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a rise in mental health concerns across the world. Now, more than ever, we have to encourage ourselves to seek help."
Remedy Healthcare is now rolling out the 'MindStep' and 'Healing Minds' telephone and online services.
Both are free, easily accessible, and do not require a referral by a GP or healthcare professional. Delivered by trained mental health coaches, the confidential services use evidence-based techniques that improve mental health and well-being.
Remedy Healthcare's executive general manager, Mike Hutton Squire, said both services aim to reduce psychological distress and improve quality of life by helping people self-manage their mental health and well-being.
"The free services offer one-on-one assessment, coaching and follow-up sessions. Use of the services is completely confidential and accessible to people living anywhere within the North Coast region in NSW," he said.
MindStep is an evidence-based, low-intensity, guided self-help service and is designed to run alongside any existing psychological care.
To access MindStep, call 1800 322-278 or visit http://www.remedyhealthcare.com.au/mindstep-hnc
MindStep is not suitable for young people under the age of 16, people with severe and enduring mental health problems and those who are in crisis or at risk of immediate harm. For those that are currently experiencing higher intensity or severe symptoms, please get in touch with your GP or contact Lifeline on 131-114.
Healing Minds is a culturally sensitive adaptation of MindStep specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 16.
To access Healing Minds, call 1800 810-255 or visit http://www.remedyhealthcare.com.au/healing-minds-hnc
Local MP Pat Conaghan said the Federal Government had invested $2.3 billion in this year's Budget towards better mental health and suicide prevention.
"With these new services, people should not feel reluctant to talk about mental health. We need to talk more about mental health and I encourage people to do so," Mr Conaghan said.
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