On Wednesday I was thrilled to officially launch the NewAccess program for the Lithgow and Hawkesbury communities.
Developed by Beyond Blue, and provided by Marathon Health, NewAccess is an early intervention self-referral program for people 16 years and over who may be going through tough times.
The service provides six free sessions with a trained NewAccess coach. The coach supports people in setting practical goals to help them get back on track.
It provides a 'first step' for people who may be struggling but are wary of accessing traditional mental health support for the first time. Importantly, this service is flexible and can be accessed by phone, Skype and FaceTime, which is a great option for our farmers and rural communities, who often can’t afford to take time off to travel into town to seek help.
NewAccess is one part of our overall strategy to support the well-being of farmers and communities affected by the drought through the Empowering Our Communities initiative.
Whilst we have had some rain and a few flushes of green, NSW is still in drought and farming communities in the region remain seriously affected by drought conditions.
Those who come from farming communities know that it is a tough gig. Adverse conditions, whether it be drought, storms, pests or diseases, can wipe out a business in years, months or even minutes.
The financial uncertainty and stress of ongoing drought can have lasting effects on people’s mental health. It impacts the whole community including local businesses, individuals and families.
It is absolutely vital that there are various avenues available for people seek help and I believe that NewAccess is one of the missing pieces in support for our region.
More information about NewAccess, including how to contact a NewAccess coach, can be found on Marathon Health’s website.
From L to R - Garry Burton - Marathon Health Acting CEO, Prue Mogg - NewAccess Coach, Sam Rosevear - General manager of Strategy & Policy Beyond Blue, Shelley Ryan - NewAccess Coach, Lizz Reay - Wentworth healthcare CEO