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Pick up your wallet card to help stay mentally well

Nicki, Jacqueline and Melissa at The Taproom with the new wallet cards to support positive mental health.

Pick up a card with tips to support positive mental health and contact details for support services at local businesses.

Monday 21 December 2020

A handy new wallet card is available from local businesses and community hubs to keep local residents mentally well in Mount Alexander Shire in the lead up to Christmas.

The new resource includes tips on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing, and where to seek help if you or someone else you know needs it.

“The new cards were developed to provide a simple guide on how to stay mentally well that is readily available at local businesses and in the community,” said Ms Shelly Lavery, Executive Officer, Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership.

“The card is easy to understand with tips on how to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing, with suggestions on things you can do when you feel you need some help. It’s also jam packed with the contact details for a range of local, state and national organisations who provide mental health support and services,” said Ms Lavery.

“We know it’s been a difficult year for many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we felt it was really important to make this resource available in the lead up to Christmas.

“It’s very common for people to feel stressed or overwhelmed at this time of the year due to things like financial pressures, family issues and the pressure to celebrate the festive season,” she said.

The wallet card is designed to fit neatly and discreetly in a purse or wallet, and meet the needs of a diverse range of people and age groups across the community.

There are contact details for support lines, counselling services and peer support groups, as well as where to get advice on how to help family and friends.

The contacts are easy to navigate and are colour-coded to help connect you with the level of service you need, based on how you are feeling.

The resource was developed by the Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership in collaboration with Mount Alexander Shire Council and the Mount Alexander CASI Local Support Network.

The project was developed as part of the Victorian Government’s Community Activation and Social Isolation (CASI) Initiative, which aims to build social connections and help people who are experiencing loneliness due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The idea for the card came out of discussions among the Mount Alexander Local Support Network as a way to help local businesses support people they were concerned about during the pandemic,” said Ms Lavery.

“We know that local business operators and their staff are an important part of our community who care about their customers and want to want to help them where they can.

“We also know that people tend to disclose mental health concerns to people they know and trust, or may drop small hints or start to open up in a place where they feel comfortable.

“Local businesses are the places we go to pick up our coffee or bread daily, or enjoy a chat while we pick up lunch, some new tools or supplies, choose a gift or get a haircut.

“We hope this wallet card will give local businesses a handy reference tool to help start a conversation or point people in the direction if they sense something isn’t right,” she said.

Jacqueline Brodi-Hanns from the Taproom - Shedshaker Brewery in Castlemaine was one of the first local business operators to embrace the idea and the cards are readily available at the counter.

"Like a lot of service industry workers, bar staff often find themselves playing incidental counselling roles,” said Ms Brodi-Hanns.
“People will often disclose their struggles and mental health challenges whilst ordering a drink. It can be hard to know how to respond, how we can help.

“This resource will be a great tool to assist our staff help people seek further support. It’s a great resource for our community.”

Pick up your keeping mentally well card from local businesses and community information hubs like the Civic Centre, Castlemaine Library, Castlemaine Community House, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre, Newstead Rural and Regional Transaction Centre, general stores and post offices.

To find out more information or download an e-version visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/CASI.

If you would like to stock the card at your local business contact Melissa Fowler, CASI Community Connector at Mount Alexander Shire Council on 54711 700 or email m.fowler@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

Council is also offering the benefits of its Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to support local small business operators and their staff who may need counselling or support. For more information contact Assure on 1800 808 374.

Download the card.

Image: Jacqueline Brodi-Hanns (centre) from the Taproom - Shedshaker Brewery in Castlemaine was one of the first local business operators to embrace the new wallet card, pictured with Nicki Renfrey, Projects Administration Officer, Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership (left) and Melissa Fowler, CASI Community Connector, Mount Alexander Shire Council (right).

Issued by Mount Alexander Shire Council in partnership with the Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership.

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