October is Mental Health Month: Activate, Educate and Engage

October is National Mental Health Month.

With one in five Australians experiencing some form of mental illness, the need to raise awareness and reduce stigma is vital.

This year’s Mental Health Month theme is ‘Mental Health Matters’. The Mental Health Foundation Australia says it’s an opportunity to ‘activate, educate and engage’ Australians about mental health and wellbeing.

The Mid North Coast’s CHESS Connect is one organisation that is taking a lead in developing resources and services to help those in need.

CHESS Connect supports locals to live a strong life through a range of employment, disability and wellbeing services.

Chief Executive Officer Paul Kelly says CHESS Connect has put together a booklet ‘Understanding and Managing Trauma’ that is particularly relevant in current times.

CHESS Connect also provides other trauma-informed services, which recognise the emotional and psychological wounds we sustain during our lives, how we think about them and how they can impact our emotional, physical and social development.

“We’ve developed a whole information service around trauma,” Mr Kelly said. “With last summer’s bushfires and this year’s pandemic and associated unemployment, these are stressful times that you could almost classify as traumatic.”

CHESS Connect includes career counselling among the services it offers.

“The world has been impacted by swift and sudden unemployment that just came from left field,” Mr Kelly said. “If you’ve lost your job, we can offer a work transition plan to identify your strengths and transferable skills.”

Click here for more information about CHESS Connect.

Healthy North Coast provides mental health funding to CHESS Connect through its North Coast PHN program.

In NSW, Mental Health Month is coordinated by WayAhead – the Mental Health Association of NSW.

WayAhead is encouraging people to ‘tune in’ for the month – to your senses, your community and to stigma. Click here to learn more.

Learn more via HealthPathways:

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Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.