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Vulnerable members of our community experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will receive assistance in navigating mental wellbeing support available as part of a new collaborative initiative.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has championed a Call to Action and partnered with NSW Health (Central Coast and Hunter New England Local Health Districts) and Everymind to deliver targeted support information to those in need through its network of community partners and key stakeholders.

Australia is facing the largest health and economic disasters in living memory, caused by COVID-19. This disaster has seen unprecedented social and physical distancing restrictions put in place to protect the health of all Australians. These restrictions have resulted in widespread financial insecurity caused by sudden job losses, business closures and reduced incomes. The economic impacts will be felt long after we have overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evidence shows people experiencing actual or perceived job insecurity experience an increase in poor mental health and a three-fold increase in rates of anxiety and depression. Currently 3.3 million Australians do not have access to sick leave entitlements which has a further negative impact on stress and mental wellbeing in the face of the COVID-19 health crisis.

We have kept in close contact with our charity and community partners as they face one of the most challenging operating environments ever experienced. The Charitable Foundation possesses a rich perspective on how community groups operate and how to best reach vulnerable people living within their community through our network of community partners. Call to action aims to reach the most vulnerable people experiencing financial distress during COVID-19 and help provide them with financial stress and mental wellbeing support options in their time of need.

This unique partnership will identify appropriate support available to Australians relating to financial hardship and mental wellbeing during COVID-19. Information will be distributed to Charitable Foundation partners and stakeholders to be shared within their own communities.

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