Lifeline Australia has switched on Lifeline Community Counselling, a video Tele-health counselling service that provides ongoing psychological support to Hunter residents who are struggling through the double impacts of bushfire and COVID-19.
Created with funding from NRMA, the service is offered to communities that have been impacted by bushfire and COVID-19 and is offered at no charge to the client with no referrals required.
"Our local community has been through some really difficult times and the COVID-19 restrictions have removed many of the important opportunities we have to connect with each other to work through our bushfire recovery together," Lifeline Hunter regional general manager Julie Wicks said.
"We know that to achieve the most beneficial mental health outcomes, it's really important that we make sure anyone who is struggling has the opportunity to receive ongoing support. With the help of NRMA we are very proud to be able to offer this tele-health video counselling service at no charge to community members who have been impacted by bushfire.
"Our very recent history of bushfire devastation has left many vulnerable to negative mental health outcomes in this time of COVID-19 physical distancing counter measures. This service provides a critical opportunity to provide early and ongoing intervention that will minimise the long-term mental health impacts of the two consecutive events. We want people to know that it is OK not to be feeling OK and if you feel you need support, please reach out to Lifeline."
Lifeline Community Counselling clients will receive continued support through an assigned qualified counsellor that will ensure continuity of care.
The initial consultation will see the counsellor work with the client to assess their current situation, identify their goals for counselling and offer counselling support aimed at improving mental health and addressing areas of concern.
All Lifeline's counsellors are tertiary qualified and practicing under the supervision of experienced psychologists and counsellors.
To make a video appointment with a Lifeline counsellor, community members are encouraged to register via lifeline.org.au/community-counselling
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