Tune In Now – Toolkit for Homelessness Workers
Tuesday, 24th June 2014 at 12:05 pm
A guide about depression and anxiety for people who work with homeless men has been launched nationally.
The toolkit, called Tune In Now, was created by Homelessness Australia in partnership with Blueboat, with funding from beyondblue.
Homelessness Australia CEO Glenda Stevens said the online toolkit contained information about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, screening tools, practical tips on having a conversation about depression and anxiety and links to other relevant resources.
“Consultations undertaken by beyondblue and Homelessness Australia with the homelessness sector in 2012, found that homelessness case/support workers expressed the need for more information about how to ‘have the conversation’ with men about depression and anxiety.
“Suicide is the leading cause of death for males under the age of 44 in Australia; on average, every day in Australia, five men die by suicide.
“The Federal Government, through its Taking Action to Tackle Suicide initiative, provided funding to beyondblue to develop a comprehensive strategy targeting a range of at-risk male population groups.
“The findings that untreated depression and anxiety significantly contribute to male suicide, and that men experiencing homelessness are at high-risk, underpin this project.”
Homelessness Australia developed the content for Tune In Now with the guidance and expertise of a national reference group comprising a consumer advocate, representatives from homelessness service providers, mental health organisations and beyondblue.
Desktop research was undertaken to explore homelessness and mental health toolkits and other resources both in Australia and overseas.
“More than twenty homelessness and mental health practitioners were also consulted. In addition, members of the Council to Homeless Persons Peer Education Support Program generously shared their personal stories on film, as did homelessness case/support workers,” Stevens said.
“The toolkit content has been clinically reviewed by Associate Professor Michael Baigent, a member of the beyondblue board and Clinical Director of the Centre for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Flinders University in South Australia.”
Homelessness Australia says the toolkit is designed so workers can use each module in sequence, or go directly to the module that is of most interest.
“Using Tune In Now requires no training and is available without charge. Homelessness Australia would like to see the toolkit broadly adopted across the sector,” Stevens said.