Mental Health Support for Adults and Young People

 

LAUNCH - Life, Activity, Understanding, Networking, Connection, Health

Launch

A mental health recovery program

The Launch Program gives participants the opportunity to ‘Launch’ into their lives through a range of supportive groups such as physical activity, social connection, personal development, community engagement, creativity, leisure, fun, and living skills development. The groups aim to support people to move through the program and prepare for life outside the mental health system. 

We respect and understand that every person’s Recovery is different; we aim to provide the opportunities for people to choose their own pathway.

Group aims and objectives:

The Launch program groups aim to assist people to link into their local community in various ways, this could be through education and training, paid or voluntary work. Every group has a purpose, even the groups that look like fun are there for a reason!

As a general rule, all of the groups share the following objectives:

  • To develop skills to plan and prepare for activities - such as remembering the group is on, being on time, being clean and tidy, having money or water bottle or gym shoes or whatever else is needed, etc.
  • To practice social and communication skills - every single group is an opportunity to practice engaging with others.
  • To commit to regular participation within a group - this means signing up for a 10 week group, and coming to the group each week for the whole 10 weeks!
  • To enhance personal growth – while participating in the groups individuals are exposed to; theories and practices that may assist them to cope with life’s stresses; to develop personal awareness and connect with what matters.

 Some simple rules –

  • All our groups are confidential – this means that people’s personal matters may often arise as part of group discussion. Confidentiality means that what is said in the group stays in the group.  Members are advised not to share this personal information with others outside the group.
  • All our groups are safe – we expect all participants to behave in ways which respect the rights and safety of others. Violence of any sort (physical, verbal, bullying, etc) will not be tolerated.

We acknowledge that all people differ in what makes them feel safe and unsafe. Our staff are keen to support all group members to feel safe and comfortable.

If you would like to register as a participant of LAUNCH, enrolment is through Gateway Health Intake worker 02 6022 8888.

CHIPS - Child Health Intervention & Parent SupportCHIPS

The role of the CHIPS program is to assist children and young people aged 0-12 years at risk of developing mental illness or are showing early signs of mental illness. This program is targeted at providing early intervention strategies with a child/young person centred practice in addition to an overall family focus. The levels of support provided are brief intervention, intensive, long term and group work.  A parent/ guardian must consent to the service intervention and one significant adult must participate for the client to be eligible.

You can download a referral form here or for further information regarding the referral process and client eligibility please contact the CHIPS program coordinator on 0260553045 or 0438567247. 

Personal Helpers and Mentors Program (PHaMs)

The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) Program services the Hume North East region from Gateway Health offices in Wodonga and Wangaratta. The program supports people aged 16 years and over whose lives are significantly impacted by mental illness. The PHaMs program offers personal assistance to help people with their recovery – by overcoming social isolation, and promoting independence and participation in the community.

The program focuses on strengths – what people with mental illness can do, rather then what they can’t. It also focuses on recovery – demonstrating that people with a mental illness can lead full and satisfying lives in the community. The PHaMs program includes specific services to meet the needs of people in the community with specific mental health needs, such as people from refugee or culturally diverse backgrounds, people of aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, young people, and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Referrals to the PHaMs program can be made through the Intake Workers. Self-referrals are welcome.

Kids In Kontrol (KIK)

KIK is a group program for young people aged 12-15. It takes an early intervention approach to help young people build resilience, skills and confidence. The group is for young people experiencing a range of situations which may increase their risk of developing mental illness. KIK groups take place over school terms, and most referrals come from secondary schools in the region. The group operates in school hours from our Wodonga site, and attendance is free.

Young Carers

Supports young people aged 13-18 who take a caring role for parents, siblings or others with a mental illness. These young people are often not recognised for the important role they play in the health and wellbeing of their family member/s, and they often do not seek or are not offered support for their caring role.

We are out to change all that!

We offer our support to young carers through PATS groups. PATS (Paying Attention to Self) groups provide an opportunity for young carers to get together, share their experiences, learn self-care and coping strategies, and have fun! Groups are facilitated by people with their own experience as carers, and there are opportunities for group members to become facilitators and volunteers with the program if they wish. PATS groups are open to young people from the Albury-Wodonga area, and are offered from our Wodonga site. The Young Carers Program is supported by a Reference Group of young people, family members and support agencies, who provide guidance to the program, and also support fundraising efforts. 

Partners In Recovery (PIR)

Gateway Health hosts a PIR Support Facilitator at our Wodonga site. PIR is a program which assists people with severe and persistent mental illness in their recovery by working with their support agencies to streamline and coordinate services and ensure that the person’s goals and needs are central to the planning process. Gateway Health is a member of the local PIR consortium, with Murray Primary Health Network (Murray PHN) as the Lead Agency. Referrals to PIR must be made to Murray PHN. www.murrayphn.org.au

Hume PIR Website www.humepir.org.au 

WayOut Wodonga

The WayOut Wodonga project is a partnership between WayOut state-wide, Gateway Health and Junction Support Services. WayOut originated as a program of Cobaw Community Health Service Ltd and now encompasses two place based projects, one in Wodonga and one in Bendigo. WayOut is a partner of the HEY (Healthy Equal Youth) partnership. The HEY project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health to work across Victoria on a number of key areas including suicide prevention, social inclusion and support for same sex attracted, intersex, transgender and gender diverse (SSAITGD) young people as well as to provide information and training about inclusive practice for services.

WayOut has a specific role working within communities in rural Victoria to raise awareness about homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and to provide an environment that embraces diversity and is welcoming for SSAITGD young people.

The WayOut Wodonga project:

-       Works collaboratively with schools, community organisations and young people to create a more inclusive environment that embraces diversity.

-       Engages young people in leadership roles including developing community projects and speaking at forums and workshops.

-       Provides local professional development opportunities.

You can find more information about the WayOut Wodonga project and upcoming opportunities on the facebook page www.facebook.com/WayOutWodonga.

Alphabet Crew youth group

The Alphabet crew is open to SSAITGD young people as well as friends and allies aged 12 - 25. The group provides a space where you can be yourself, meet people, hear from guest speakers and get involved in developing community activities that celebrate diversity. The group meets fortnightly in the Albury Wodonga area from 4.30pm until 6.00pm. If you would like more information about this group or if you would like to come along, please contact our WayOut Wodonga Project worker at Gateway Health by phoning (02) 6022 8888 or sms 0419 019 254 or email info@gatewayhealth.org.au  The WayOut project works within a Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) model. A QSA is a social, support and advocacy group established to bring people together to address issues of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender diversity. The aim of the QSA is to educate the community, promote and encourage acceptance of young people’s diversity through discussion and positive action, and to embrace everyone for who they are regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

headspace Albury-Wodonga

Gateway Health is delighted to be the Lead Agency of the headspace Albury-Wodonga consortium, and will host headspace from our Wodonga site. headspace is the national youth mental health initiative, and headspace centres are designed to be accessible, youth-oriented one-stop-shops for a range of mental health and other health needs. headspace caters for young people aged 12-25, and headspace Albury-

headspace is a youth & family service, which means that we work specifically with young people between the age of 12 and 25 years old and their families. headspace provides a safe and confidential environment for young people to access counseling, a GP, education/training & employment support and information, alcohol and other drug support and information, and mental health services. People come to headspace for many reasons. Here are just a few:
• Because they are feeling down, depressed or anxious
• They are not coping at school, home, uni or workheadspace sm
• Having family or relationship issues
• Not sleeping well
• Not eating well
• Finding it hard to concentrate or be motivated
• Being bullied or hurt by others
• Having trouble managing anger
• Experiencing grief and loss
• Worried about their drinking or drug use
• Have noticed 'something's not quite right
At headspace Albury Wodonga you can receive support from a range of professionals including Youth Access workers, Psychologists, Counsellors, Drug and alcohol practitioners, education training and employment experts, or General Practitioner (doctor).  All of our workers are skilled in listening to young people and can help you identify problems, goals and achieve creative solutions to issues based on your individual needs.
For more information find us here www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres/headspace-albury-wodonga

Equine Therapy

What is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy?

EAP is a form of therapy gaining increasing recognition and support around the world. It is based on first hand experiences of engaging with horses. This program uses interactive activities to support people, allowing healing to begin within a natural environment.

EAP sessions are designed to meet individual needs. The activities in each session are organised so that the participant and the horse can accomplish a specific goal. The person’s reaction to the horse, and the horse’s reaction to them, not only helps highlight possible issues, but how to better communicate and interact with others to accomplish personal goals. EAP allows participants to discover new, more effective solutions for the challenges in life.

Download the Equine therapy fact sheet here.

Listening To Voices

Local people are shifting community perspectives of voice hearing, mental illness and recovery through innovative and creative theatre.

Through the International Voice Hearing community, there continues be a growing consumer movement to place greater compassionate understanding around the many psychotic experiences in general and to work within a framework of hope and recovery, rather than a deficit disease model.  
Hearing Voices is a human experience and many people who hear voices live well or actually feel benefited by these experiences.  Too often in media and even in psychiatry the messages people tend to receive about voice hearing equates to Mad, Bad or Dangerous.  This pervasive attitude is nothing short of stigma.  Listening to Voices wishes to highlight and challenge this dominant discourse through stories of discovery, connection, healing and hope.  Many of the performers have received labels of schizophrenia in their journey of finding people to talk to about their experiences, Things are changing though and now with the emerging international network of voice hearers and their allies, people have many more opportunities to open up conversations about some of their personal experiences, however unusual.  Unlike the often misdirected media attention on mental illness and violence, it is actually much more likely that those people who are distressed by their voices have often experienced overwhelming trauma and disempowerment.

This innovative and creative theatre involves courageous performances from ordinary people who know first-hand what it is like being diagnosed with mental illness.
Local people under the direction of nationally renowned director Catherine Simmonds provide the audience a unique experience in seeing, hearing and feeling their journey.  They share their experiences of voices, depression, anxiety and of diagnosis, of life, loss and ultimately hope.  This performance is something rare and important that balances humour alongside  tough topics such as suicide, to ultimately unite us all in the human journey.  
Following two previous performances in Albury and Wodonga, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.


Theatre has a way of allowing the audience to experience and therefore relate to the dilemma, the stories and ultimately release preconceived judgment.  As you will witness… voice hearing is complex, diverse, frightening, challenging and often a very very helpful experience!

 

Other useful Links

Mental Health Council

Psychiatric Disability

Accessing Services

You can self refer by calling our Intake service, or you can be referred to our programs by your Health professional.