A guide to  community-based support services for mental health

A guide to  community-based support services for mental health


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It’s estimated that 1in 5 people in Australia(This link will take you to a PDF about mental health statistics in Australia) may experience some form of mental health condition in their lives. The reasons for this may vary from emotional stress and traumatic experiences to various social factors.

Mental health problems can affect people of all abilities, and in some cases, these mental health conditions may be debilitating for some individuals. The number of individuals with mental health problems is growing every day, thus creating a high demand for mental health services.

Community-based support services for mental health have been gaining popularity as of late. What sets these types of services from traditional ones is that community-based services are performed in a community and not in an institutional setting.

These health services are carried out by non-government organisations and an is offered free to the public, and it’s also available for adults, the elderly, children, and also individuals with severe forms of mental illness,

Many of these services are provided in a clinic, but some may be offered at home. There are different types of community-based support services for mental health, and we’ll explore each of these.

Acute care

These are teams of trained professionals who are immediately available for individuals who face sudden mental health crises. The person under your care will be given short-term involuntary treatment during the acute phase of their crisis until they’re well enough to return to the community.

These teams' services may involve therapeutic interventions and assisting individuals in carrying out their daily living activities. 

The therapeutic programs these services providers can help the person under your care resolve their mental health crises, learn how to manage their condition effectively, and prevent future problems. 

The mental health support providers educate the person under your care and give them advice on handling and coping with their situations and becoming resilient in the long run. 

The staff will encourage healthy activities and lifestyle changes and help the person under your care access the necessary community resources that can help them.

Home care services

As the name suggests, this type of community-based support service for mental health is provided from the comfort of your home or Supported Independent Living (This link will take you to a blog post on the Shine SC website about Supported Independent Living) home.

Individuals suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety, psychosis, and schizophrenia often have difficulty accomplishing regular household tasks. This service aims to help individuals with mental health issues get treatment and care while still being able to live independently.

The person under your care can receive specialised care based on their unique circumstances. The care providers will work together with you and the person under your care to determine the best ways to improve the latter’s quality of life.

Additionally, safety is assured when the person under your care receives home care services.

In most cases, you may not be able to supervise the person under your care at all times; you may have other important responsibilities, like going to work. Fortunately, home care workers will keep constant watch over the person under your care, ensuring their safety.

Also, home care services will help you and the person under your care find ways to make your surroundings safer for the person under your care. This may involve recommending various accessibility measures for your home and removing household hazards.

Early psychosis intervention

This is a type of mental health care service that can be helpful for young people. This mental health service involves identifying early symptoms of psychosis during a person’s formative years.

Psychosis is a form of mental illness that causes a person to lose touch with reality. Individuals with this condition may experience auditory and visual hallucinations and start to believe in things that are not true.

The early first symptoms of psychosis are detected, the more effectively they can be treated. Therefore, early psychosis intervention aims to:

  • First, provide necessary treatment as early as possible.
  • Reduce the adverse effects that psychosis could have on the person under your care and the rest of their family.
  • Reduce the chances of the person under your care requiring hospitalisation.
  • Give the person under your care support that is appropriate to their age. This is done to make sure that the support will not disrupt the lives of young people and allow them to focus on developing important skills.

With early psychosis intervention, you can be assured that any young person under your care will have a better quality of life.

Youth mental health services

Good mental health is an integral part of healthy adolescent development for young people. A young person can develop positive social, communication, and problem-solving skills with good mental health.

Research suggests that mental health issues from younger years may affect a person later on in adulthood; this is why these issues must be dealt with as early as possible.

Youth mental health services can give the following benefits:

Improves relationships with peers

Mental health issues can make it difficult for young people to communicate and socialise with their peers. Mental health services will help them overcome these difficulties and build meaningful relationships.

Helps avoid substance misuse

Sometimes young people with mental health issues may turn to certain substances for relief and may eventually become addicted to them. Youth mental health services provide quick intervention to prevent young people from going down this path.

Reduces chances of developing other health conditions

Mental health problems may lead to a person developing physical health problems, such as heart disease and ulcers. Timely intervention from youth mental health services can help keep these health issues at bay.

Choose community-based support services for mental health

Not everyone is open about their battle with mental health problems. If you suspect that the person under your care is suffering from any kind of mental illness, get in touch with a reputable disability and mental health provider in your area.

What are the best activities for adults with mental disabilities?

What are the best activities for adults with mental disabilities?


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Even in this modern age, people with intellectual disabilities may still struggle to take part in society and various community activities meaningfully. Part of this may have to do with the stigma still associated with these conditions and the lack of understanding of disabilities in society. 

The good news is that today in Australia, there are plenty of activities for adults with mental disabilities, which are designed to improve their quality of life and help them engage in a range of enriching experiences.

If you or someone you’re supporting is looking for community and individual activities that are adapted to the needs of people with mental disabilities, this post will give you an idea of some of the best pastimes you can try!

Music therapy

Music is universally beloved for a reason—it’s been observed that adults with mental disabilities react well to musical activities. 

Given the variety of music programmes available today, these activities generally include:

  • Writing lyrics to songs and composing music 
  • Playing instruments
  • Listening to music 
  • Moving or dancing to music
  • Discussing music in community forums
  • Music-based therapy for various cognitive challenges

Studies have shown that listening to music even has tangible health benefits like lowering blood pressure and improving sleep cycles.

Arts and crafts

Certain individuals who manage mental disabilities may find it difficult to express themselves. For some, arts and crafts are a great way to express their feelings and ideas in ways they may struggle to otherwise. 

Art activities can also be very relaxing; for most, it’s an engaging and engrossing pastime that can keep individuals busy for hours at a time, channelling their creativity and emotions in a constructive way.

Popular arts and craft activities include:

  • Beading 
  • Origami
  • Woodwork
  • Seashell craft
  • Model building
  • Jewellery making
  • Clay sculpting

Crafts can even be done as a group project with peers and loved ones, making it a potentially effective way to build relationships and develop social skills in a fun and safe environment. 

Cooking

When done right, cooking isn’t just fun but it’s also a very important activity for adults with mental disabilities. 

After all, cooking can teach just about anyone important traits like independence and patience while also giving them a sense of accomplishment. It can also help you learn important skills like setting a table, cleaning up after cooking, and measuring ingredients.

If this is an activity you’re considering for yourself or for someone you’re caring for, consider starting with simple recipes that are easy to execute and clean up. Once you have a knack for it, progress onto more complex, interesting dishes!

Hiking or nature walks

For people managing certain disabilities, taking a walk through the woods or a botanical garden may have significant therapeutic effects and is also a great and easy way to get exercise while spending time in nature. 

If solo activities aren’t possible, going out on group hikes with friends and family can be an extremely fun pastime and is a very popular activity for adults with mental disabilities, here in Australia

With a campfire and some smores, it’s a wonderful way to leave the rest of the world behind and make great memories with loved ones!

Group workouts

Having a few weekly workouts with peers can be a way to get exercise and stay healthy while engaging with various communities today. 

In fact, light jogging, swimming, aerobics or even Tai chi are great forms of exercise for people managing certain disabilities. 

By working out with other people, it’s also easier to stay accountable to a set routine, achieve fitness goals, and engage with people who understand what each other is going through. 

Find enriching activities for adults with mental disabilities to boost their quality of life

Managing a mental disability, regardless of its nature, should not prevent anyone from enjoying their life to the fullest. Today, the good news is that there are a plethora of great, inclusive activities for people with certain needs and it doesn't just end at the list we’ve put together!

If you or someone you’re supporting is looking for safe and enjoyable community pastimes or are looking for one-on-one support, our peer support networks or social programmes may be a great start.

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