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As the community moves towards recovery from lockdowns that have changed how people work and socialise, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is ensuring that those most at risk of mental health issues, brought about by the COVID-19 situation, have easy access to information on where they can to turn to for help.

The Charitable Foundation has formed a partnership with the Central Coast Local Health District, Hunter New England Local Health District and Everymind to develop practical and accessible resources for people financially impacted by COVID-19. The initiative is designed to help people to deal with financial hardship and how to manage their mental well-being for the long-term future.

The web resource is designed to provide access points to government agency, community health and counselling support services for help those feeling overwhelmed by the situation to easily navigate and access options available during a time of heavily crowded public messaging and media reporting. This information is available here and on the Charitable Foundation’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages as well as being distributed to northern NSW charities and community organisations.

Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat said one of its core values was to support and advocate for regional Australia and the community organisations which deliver vital services to people in need.

“The Charitable Foundation is well placed and committed to work closely with grass-roots organisations, key stakeholders and regional communities. We have a valuable insight into the financial, social and health impacts caused by COVID-19 on individuals, communities, business and industries,” he said.

Director Mental Health Central Coast Local Health District, Anthony Critchley said fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotive responses in adults and children.

“Many of our traditional ways of coping are being challenged due to the physical distancing requirements and employment uncertainty. Using the resources that this partnership has developed will make you, the people you care about and your community stronger now and for the future.

“There is tremendous benefit in collaborating with trusted organisations that can reach people early in a crisis. Utilising Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s existing communication channels means we can bring information quickly to communities and make it available when people need it,” Anthony said.

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