The towns of Molong, Parkes, Forbes and Eugowra were heavily impacted by the 2022 flooding event. Damage to properties included schools, pharmacies, childcare centres, houses, local businesses. A lot of people were displaced from homes and sadly 2 lives were lost.
WNSWPHN have received the Ministry of Health Grant - Central West Mental Health and Wellbeing Flood Recovery Package. WNSW PHN have also developed and established emergency and disaster pathways in light of the possibility of future disasters occuring in regional and remote regions.
Stakeholder management and relationship building across sectors has been fundamental. This included primary and acute health care, Recovery NSW, Local Health District, community health, schools, local council, pre-schools, general practitioners, pharmacy and local businesses. The WNSW PHN team travelled to the flood affected towns on a number of occasions, holding stakeholder sessions to determine the needs of the people and towns. The feedback and experiences were captured and documented to develop a needs assessment. A few of the items that were identified during these visits include, mental health support for children 0-5 years and childcare services.
In response to the needs assessment, WNSW PHN has executed 3 psychology services. Two of which are face to face and one being a virtual psychology service. Clinical integration meetings are underway with the providers.
Virtual Psychology been commissioned and launched with a ground-breaking move towards accessible and effective mental health care. Virtual Psychologist is a pioneering platform that offers text, video and audio based mental health services, connecting individuals with qualified mental health practitioners through a discreet and convenient medium. Virtual Psychologist aims to provide accessible and effective mental health care to all.
Forbes Mind and Medicine will be commissioned to deliver three days a week of face to face psychology services in a multidisciplinary team approach with a general practitioner.
Veritas House has been commissioned to deliver face to face psychologist service two days a week with two qualified psychologists. These services will also facilitate coverage of group sessions such as mother group in impacted communities.
Furthermore, the WNSW PHN Wellbeing and Resilience grants are now open. The Wellbeing and Resilience grants will facilitate the delivery of community led and focused wellbeing initiatives that aim to help improve mental health and build up community resilience.
Community initiatives should address the immediate needs of affected communities and contribute to building long-term capacity and resilience. This includes initiatives that focus on community health and wellbeing; that build community resilience and build the capacity of our volunteer and paid workforce. Funding up to $20,000 is available. Tenders and Grants : Western NSW PHN (wnswphn.org.au)