Executive manager of Centacare’s Health, Wellbeing and Education Services, Helene Nielsen, said the telephone counselling, which started at the end of March, had been well received by people who needed short-term support due to the impacts of the pandemic.
“We are certainly seeing a lot of people presenting with various stress, anxiety and depression issues at this time,” Ms Nielsen said.
“The impact on households as income becomes unstable has an immense effect on people’s mental health and social isolation is another concern.”
Commending the ACBC for its annual Social Justice Statement, Ms Nielsen said the effects of the pandemic on mental health would be felt for a long time.
“One of the things that increases people’s wellbeing is connection and one of the things this pandemic has done is isolate people and keep them apart, exacerbating challenges for those already at risk,” she said.
“Isolation and disconnection impacts people of all ages…certainly we will see the mental health impact of this pandemic go on for a really long time.”
Centacare delivers a range of psychosocial support programs for people living with mental health challenges. It also runs headspace at Port Adelaide, which supports 16-25 year-olds with ‘mild to moderate’ mental health issues, as well as the Thrive program for young people in the western suburbs who have ‘moderate to severe’ mental health needs.
Ms Nielsen said while the demand for Centacare’s mental health services had remained steady in recent months there had been about a 50 per cent increase for referrals to drug and alcohol programs across the sector.
To book an appointment for the COVID-19 telephone counselling contact Centacare on 8215 6700.Jump to next article