Financial Hardship

There are a lot of people who are experiencing hardship, particularly with the lack of rising wages, increasing cost of living and a subtraction in the Australian economy and more broadly the global economy.

It is common for people to experience financial hardship at various times and through different stages in life.

Financial hardship can come from an unexpected redundancy, death of a spouse, under employment or through unexpected bills and repairs or expenditure that is not planned for.

It is normal for most people throughout their lives to experience an unexpected event or changes outside of their control that will negatively impact on your financial circumstances.

Perhaps you’ve lost your job, suffered an illness or injury or have been impacted by a natural disaster.

If, as a result, you can’t afford the minimum repayment on your loan or credit card, and you would like your financial institution to consider if they can provide you with financial difficulty assistance, please contact them immediately. The sooner you contact your financial institution the sooner they can work with you and alongside you to try assist you through this difficult time.

In many instances assistance can be provided quickly and efficiently over the phone.

Alternatively, you may need to complete a more detailed assessment of your personal and financial circumstances to identify how they may be able to help you.

Financial difficulty assistance is available to you, whether you are an individual, joint account holder, guarantor or small business customer. If you have a joint account and you are experiencing financial difficulty, your financial institution can assist you individually if you request it.

There are also some free online tools that have been designed to help people manage their money, try ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission) Money Smart   www.moneysmart.gov.au

ASIC’s MoneySmart website is for all Australians regardless of their circumstances. .  It offers free, independent guidance so you can make the most of your money.  It has smart tips on dealing with the ups and downs of life: losing your job, having a baby, divorce or separation, buying a home, losing your partner and many more.

There is also the National Debt Hotline – 1800 007 007. The National Debt Hotline is open from 9:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

 

Thank you to Mr Michael Bell, Senior Branch Manager, East Gosford, Lisarow & Kincumber Community Bank, Bendigo Bank & LifeSpan Champion for contributing to this article. 

Any Day is OK to Ask R U OK?

R U OK? Day is our national day of action dedicated to reminding everyone that any day is the day to ask, “Are you ok?”.  It’s about inspiring people to start these conversations every day of the year to support those struggling with life.

Sometimes, we may not feel confident if the person says, “No I’m not OK.”  And that’s OK.  You don’t have to be an expert to show you care.  Use these four steps to help navigate the conversation:

  1. Ask
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage Action
  4. Check In

You can check out the R U OK? Day resources and the Every Day Resources at www.ruokday.org.au.

Help get your school, workplace and community asking, “Are you ok?”.

Suicide Prevention Central Coast has small grants available to support you to host an
R U OK? Day Community event!

The small grants are being offered to stage RU OK? Day activities or events on or around RU OK? Day – Thursday 12th September 2019.

For more information or to apply, click here (provide link to form) for the R U OK? Day Small Grant Application Form or email info@suicidepreventioncentralcoast.org.au for a copy.  Grants close 19th July 2019.

R U OK? Conversation Convoy

The R U OK? Conversation Convoy travels around Australia to inspire everyone and give them the skills, motivation and confidence to start a conversation with anyone they might be worried about.  This year we are lucky to have the Convoy visiting the Central Coast on 10th July 2019.  The time and place is still to be decided so go to the R U OK? Website to get updates.  www.ruok.org.au/conversation-convoy

Important Dates

  • 10th July 2019 – R U OK? Conversation Convoy on the Central Coast
  • 19th July 2019 – Grant Applications close
  • 12th September 2019 – RU OK Day

REMEMBER:

Taking part can be as simple as learning R U OK?’s four steps so you can have a conversation that could change a life.

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage Action
  4. Check In

 

Well Man – A new men’s health app

A fantastic new men’s health app was recently launched. The app is available for free via the App Store or Google Play Store and is aimed at improving men’s overall health and wellbeing.

One of our LifeSpan community members reviewed the app from a “blokes” perspective.

Their feedback was

“This is a really straight forward, sensible app that does a pretty good job incorporating health, well-being and psychological concepts into plain English specifically for men.”

“I believe it has strong rural origins, the video on the Men’s Resource Centre website (which is based in Albany WA) is wall to wall tractors, trucks and wheat fields.  My guess is that it will play very well with a large segment of men on the Central Coast.  It certainly sat easily with me”.

Some of the best features include:

  • The men’s survival booklet which is easy to read and navigate by topics. There is quite a comprehensive range of topics generating thought and reflection.
  • Emergency Contacts is very useful with 000, Suicide Call Back Service, beyondblue, MenLine Australia etc.
  • 18 day challenge – this encourages behaviour change in a non-threatening playful way.
  • 9 Tips for staying alive 4 men (suicide prevention program) – straight forward, practical and ties is with the other content.  This feature of the app could be really beneficial for health and community workers linking men to the app and using the booklet. The 18 day challenge or 9 tips as anchors would be good for follow up and ongoing work with a person. This also includes safety planning and a range of emergency contacts a finger press away within the app.  It opens up to a “booklet”, but behind the booklet is a navigation menu that has some really great information and resources for men.

For more information about the app click on the Mens Resource Centre or go to the App Store or Google Play Store for more information, search for Well Man.

NSW Strategic Suicide Prevention Framework

The Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018-2023was launched by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, with the Minister for Mental Health, Tanya Davies on 17 October 2018.

The Framework will guide activities in NSW until 2023 and marks the beginning of the journey towards zero suicides in NSW.

The Framework has been developed by the NSW Mental Health Commission and the NSW Ministry of Health in collaboration with people with lived experience of a suicide attempt or suicide bereavement, government agencies, mental health organisations and experts in suicide prevention. More than 1,800 people provided written submissions, participated in meetings, completed an online survey and joined community forums to contribute to the Framework’s development.

The launch of the Framework was accompanied by investment in new and expanded initiatives to implement priorities under the Framework including:
  • aftercare services for people who have made a suicide attempt
  • alternative services for people presenting to emergency departments in distress
  • support services for people bereaved by suicide
  • more counsellors for regional and rural communities
  • expanded community mental health outreach teams
  • suicide awareness skills training
  • an evidence-informed innovation fund to bring approaches showing promising results from other jurisdictions to NSW
  • strengthening practices in the mental health system to eliminate suicides and suicide attempts among people in care
  • resilience building in local communities
  • improvements to the collection and distribution of suicide data in NSW.
The NSW Mental Health Taskforce considers key Government priorities and cross-portfolio matters related to mental health, including the significance of regional challenges and implementation, and enhances cross-agency collaboration. The NSW Mental Health Taskforce will provide oversight for the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in NSW 2018–2023, reflecting the diverse membership required to ensure action is taken across agencies.
The Taskforce will be supported in its work with advice from the Suicide Prevention Advisory Group. The NSW Mental Health Commissioner established the NSW Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, to advise on issues relating to suicide prevention, and to improve the planning, monitoring and co-ordination of suicide prevention activities in NSW. The Advisory Group is co-chaired ​by the NSW Mental Health Commissioner and the Executive Director, Mental Health Branch, NSW Ministry of Health.