The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Response to demand


Grampians Community Health is opening its doors to everyone needing help as Australia continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health agency has increased its intake services to cope with additional demand from people seeking support for a range of reasons, ranging from family violence to depression.

Customer engagement program leader Kristy Price, who manages the intake program, said more people were needing and seeking support.

“We’re the first port of call for anybody wanting assistance and we never turn people away,” she said.

“We can offer a host of in-house services but if it’s not available here, we can re-direct people to the appropriat­e service provider.”

Ms Price said there had been a marked upswing in calls for support over the past year.

“We have had a lot more people seeking counsellin­g for anxiety or depression, and unfortunat­ely also for assistance with violence in the home,” she said.

“The issues are the same, but people have felt things more deeply during the pandemic. People have felt incredibly isolated and COVID has brought its own concerns with people feeling anxious about the virus, let alone the implicatio­ns of the restrictio­ns.”

GCH has also noted increases in calls or presentati­ons for mental health, homelessne­ss, relationsh­ips, alcohol and other drug use and gambling.

Ms Price works with two part-time intake workers who can direct people to the most appropriat­e services.

“We pride ourselves in being able to help people find the service they need,” she said.

“GCH offers a lot of services, but for those we don’t, we can offer informatio­n and links to get support.”

Ms Price urged people with any concerns to reach out to GCH if they needed help personally or on behalf of someone else.

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