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Social Connectedness

My Health Connector Website

To improve awareness of local lifestyle and wellbeing services in the Hawkesbury area, we have created the My Health Connector website. Over time it will also have services added from the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Penrith areas.

People at risk of or who are socially isolated can now also access support from a Health Connector based in a GP practice in the Hawkesbury. Community Connector points are also available for people in the community who support initiative. More information is available from the My Health Connector website.

Link to My Health Connector website

Project Background 

Older people without adequate social connections have an increased risk of poorer mental health and well-being, negatively impacting on their physical health and use of health services. We believe that social isolation and loneliness of older people in our area as particularly significant.

In response to this, we are working in partnership with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, to design and deliver a two-year pilot project focusing on sustainable ways to increase the social connectedness of older Australians who are assessed by their primary healthcare professional as having, or being at high risk of, mental health and health conditions that are associated with social isolation and/or loneliness. 

In July 2019, our Social Connectedness of Older People in the Hawkesbury project recently held three Community Co-Designed Workshops in the Hawkesbury region. Over one hundred professionals, volunteers and community members participated, working on improving connections for socially isolated older people in the Hawkesbury.

Following the workshops, a Steering Committee and three working groups , have been established to progress focusing on some of the key themes identified by the community. The working groups priorities include:

  1. Connecting with the Socially Isolated - Identifying the Unidentified
  2. Service Provider Networking and Community Awareness and
  3. Improving Transport and Volunteering in the Hawkesbury.

Our community development worker has been engaging with local services to map the existing formal and informal supports to develop a new online directory now available www.myhealthconnector.com.au.

People at risk of or who are socially isolated will soon be able to access support from a Health Connector based in a GP practice in the Hawkesbury. Community Connector training will also be available for people in the community to be involved to support this initiative.

Contact

To find out more contact Liz Murphy, Project Officer on 4708 8100 or contact us online.

Social Connectedness Workshop