Flourish Australia has ramped up its community engagement programs in Sydney’s south-west to assist people with mental health issues shift towards independent living.
Flowerdale cottage at Liverpool - which is run by Flourish Australia - is utilising Peer Support Workers to assist people on their mental health recovery journeys. A Peer Support Worker is someone who has their own lived experience of a mental health issue but is far enough down the recovery track to help others towards recovery.
Flowerdale Cottage Peer Support Worker Michael White recently took 14 support recipients on a day visit to Liverpool Regional Museum to view the unique ‘Peace Comes to Liverpool’ exhibition, focussing on Australian’s who served in World War 1.
“The idea is that we get people out into the community to see and learn as much as possible and as frequently as possible,” Michael explained.
“Connecting people with their community is one of the big keys to mental health recovery. That could mean a visit to the shops, a National Park, a zoo or the local museum.
“The Peace Comes to Liverpool exhibition was particularly interesting for everyone who attended. A lot of good questions were asked and some of the visuals and accounts of what Australians involved in the Great War went through were mind-broadening.
“The visit was all the better given that specialist tour guides were on hand to tell stories behind the artefacts and items on display.”
Flowerdale Cottage Manager Cathee Andrew said such simple outings made a massive difference to people who live with mental health issues.
“Getting out into the community is essential for anyone on a mental health recovery journey,” Cathee said.
“A simple visit to a museum is not only a social and educational experience, it can be stimulating and therapeutic.
“Ultimately we want people to do such things independently as they head towards recovery.
“This visit has given everyone involved a lift, not during the actual visit but in the days and weeks leading up to it. It’s been something to look forward to.”
Run by foremost community-based mental health support provider Flourish Australia, Flowerdale Cottage is a landmark local mental health centre providing day-to-day living support for hundreds of people with severe and persistent mental health issues. It also offers mental health support under the Commonwealth Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
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