South Eastern Community Connect has received a grant of $49,002 from Bayside Council to launch a new mental wellbeing program in the community.

Titled ‘Community Wellness Mentoring and Empowerment Program’ the project will deliver training for up to 30 members of the community to develop the skills and feel empowered to support those more vulnerable members of our community.

Participants could include community members, local business owners, carers, community workers or agencies/service providers in both health and non- health related services, or neighbours of people affected by mental health issues.

“We want to give community members the skills and the knowledge they need to recognise and support community members with their mental health recovery journey which includes assisting them to meet their mental, physical, social and emotional needs, explains Vida Tebyani, Manager of Family and Multicultural Programs at South Eastern Community Connect.

“Mental illness concerns us all. It is not a visible condition, but it is present in all parts of our community. When mental health deteriorates without intervention and support we see families become unstable, elderly become isolated and employees struggle in their workplace. The mental wellbeing of the people in our community affects us all, and we need awareness, compassion and skills to support the vulnerable and our community as a whole”, Ms Tebyani adds.

The program will have two components, one being the support training provided through a qualified trainer, the other being a suite of community wellbeing workshops which will respond to the expressed needs and interests of residents and people with mental health issues.  These programs foster good mental health and resilience, healthy lifestyles, community engagement and help promote networks of social support at a local level.

“Over a period of two years we hope to see this program kickstart a transformation of our community to become more inclusive and more focused on the recovery of all who are affected by mental illness”, Ms Tebyani says.

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