Over the past financial year, Bendigo Bank branches at Ettalong Beach, East Gosford, Lisarow, and Kincumber have provided financial support to Coast Shelter’s mental health youth clinical services and have pledged their support again for the coming financial year.
In an effort to address growing public health wait times and the prevalence of mental health concerns among young people accessing its crisis housing on the Central Coast, Coast Shelter built a clinical services team to address alcohol and other drugs, mental health, homelessness and domestic violence.
Mick Gage, Chairman of Ettalong Beach Community Bank Chairman, said the bank had been pleased to help with the employment of a Mental Health Youth Worker for the clinical services team.
“The team has provided alcohol and drug counselling and services to address presenting health issues of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder,” he said.
Bank Treasurer, Don Wilson, said the project was about giving people a leg up when they most need it with holistic support services to allow them to thrive and regain their independence.
Ettalong Beach Financial Services Limited is the franchise for the Ettalong Beach Branch of Bendigo Bank trading as Ettalong Beach Community Bank, with 80 per cent of profits returned to the community.
Coast Shelter CEO, Michael Starr said waiting times to see an external mental health provider on the Coast could be up to eight months.
“Even then the cost of a psychologist or counsellor with a mental health care plan can be too expensive for our young people,” he said.
“Clients are often better off travelling to Sydney or Newcastle to access immediate mental health care.
“In order to negate this, we have partnered with Bendigo Bank to deliver immediate mental health support and planning for young people on the Coast.
“Madi Parrot started in this specialist position in October, 2021, and has already provided much needed personalised care and support to 80 young people in our crisis housing services.
“This is a vital part of our clinical services team and we are thankful for Bendigo Bank’s continued and generous investment in the health of young people on the Coast.”
We are honoured to be able to support this cause for another year.”
Parrot said 75 per cent of clients she sees, aged between 17 and 22, present with anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder and have experienced long-term homelessness.
“Twenty young people have been linked in with external support, which varies from NDIS to AOD counselling and psychology; this is due to the wait times for external services across the Central Coast region.”
Michael Bell, CEO of East Gosford, Lisarow, and Kincumber Community Banks, Michael Bell, said the past two years had been difficult for the community, especially young people experiencing mental health concerns.