Informing Volunteers About Mental Health
14 May 2015 at 11:59 am
New online resources from Not for Profit beyondblue aim to educate volunteers on how to boost the mental health of older people in their care.
Released in conjunction with National Volunteer Week, the resources provide volunteers and volunteer coordinators with more information on how to understand anxiety and depression in older people.
According to beyondblue, the rate of depression for frail, older people in the community who require support to remain at home can be as high as 30 per cent and the rate of depression for older people in residential care can be as high as 50 per cent.
beyondblue said it hoped “to increase understanding of anxiety and depression in the general population, particularly among older people, and raise awareness of strategies available to them that may boost the mental health of the older people they support”.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said National Volunteer Week was a good time to celebrate the contribution millions of Australians make every day to other people’s lives.
“Volunteers are invaluable in the lives of so many people, especially in older people who may be less mobile and depend on them for social contact,” Harman said.
“One in six people will experience depression at some stage of their lives, however the risks increase with chronic illness, pain, changes in accommodation, grief and loss and dementia.
“Using these resources, volunteers and volunteer coordinators can equip themselves with knowledge to identify the risks of depression and anxiety, and learn preventative measures they may be able to suggest to help.”
The new resources include:
Volunteers enriching older people’s wellbeing: A beyondblue program Volunteer workbook
Volunteers enriching older people’s wellbeing: A beyondblue program Facilitator guide
Volunteers in aged care podcast.
To register to use the resources, volunteer coordinators can visit: www.beyondblue.org.au/volunteer-education