It's been a tough time for our community, but the good news is that support is available with the ‘Chats for change’ team out and about in Kiama, Jamberoo, and Gerringong.
The ‘Chats for change’ team has been put together by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and consists of different health professionals as well as people with lived experience.
“They are available for people to speak with them about their struggles, distress and experiences following the recent suicides within our community. They will listen, support and, if necessary, connect people with support services,” said Louise Murphy, Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) Mental Health Services at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
On Saturday 19 September, the team was at the Werri Beach Progress Hall in Gerringong: “We had a great response, with many locals stopping by to talk about their experiences, and the effects the recent events have had on them,” said Ms Murphy.
“Every single person that we spoke to thanked us for their time and opportunity to talk, and for providing this valuable service within the community – rather than people having to reach out for support.”
“One person commented that we reminded them that they are cared for!” she added.
Out at Jamberoo on Tuesday 22 September, many individuals spoke about how they were inspired by the unity and connectedness of the community during tough times.
A community member also shared his opinion saying that “more men need to be able to talk about their feelings without feeling judged or weak,” and that “having teams like this here helps.”
The Chats for Change team has already been to 26 locations and will be available at:
- North Kiama Neighbourhood Centre on 29 September from 10am to 1pm and 3:30pm to 6:00pm
- Kiama Leagues Club on 8 October from 10am to 1pm and 3:30pm to 6pm
- Gerringong Bowlo on 13 October from 10am to 1pm and 3:30pm to 6pm
- Jamberoo Bowls and Recreation Club on 15 and 20 October from 10am to 6pm
It's free and there's no need to make an appointment.
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