Launch of Connecting2Community in the Grampians Wimmera Region

Connecting2Community is an initiative between Grampians Community Health and Ballarat Community Health is bringing a new peer designed and led model of mental health support to the Grampians/Wimmera region. Called Connecting2community, the program has been launched with the support of the Western Victorian Primary Health Network.

Launching the service in Horsham, the key drivers of the program were PHN CEO Dr Leanne Beagley, Sean Duffy CEO of Ballarat Community Health BCH and Greg Little CEO of Grampians Community Health as well as the peer workers who will deliver the service, Lucy Beaton, Shannan Flood, Rick Corney and Sara Cunningham-Smith who are all individuals with a lived experience and hold a formal qualification in Community Services.

It is great to see local services coming together, Grampians Community Health Chief Executive Greg Little said. “There was a gap identified in the service provision for people experiencing mental illness and a joint initiative between BCH and GCH has enabled us to deliver the exciting new program to the Wimmera and surrounds.”

The program is designed to help people tackle their mental illness through support, encouragement and advice as needed, to foster hope and determination for change. The program will see individuals paired with a peer worker to work together for six sessions to identify a goal and achieve an outcome.

“We will help individuals to identify and achieve goals big or small to work towards a rewarding positive future. That is why we are so excited about this program, this is an opportunity for people in our region to get the support they need when they are struggling. The peer support relates to the individuals and what they are experiencing”, said Grampians Community Health peer-worker Shannan Flood.

Mr Little said that “The program is being delivered across the Wimmera including Horsham, Stawell and Ararat with the other three workers based at Ballarat Community Health”.

“The great thing about this program is that people can self-refer to the service by sending an email to gchrefer@grampianscommunityhealth.org.au, or by calling the number 1800 056 400, and they can also ask their GP to make a referral” said Mr Little.

Anyone wishing to access any of the Grampians Community Health services can easily do so by calling 5358 7400.

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