TheConfidante In the Media
Imagine if the Sunshine Coast experienced an additional wave of happiness, love, compassion and well-being. What if we became renown as the Sunshine Compassionate Coast? Envision our emergency hospital admissions being reduced by 30%, drastically alleviating the healthcare budget? Visualise our new express train to and from the big smoke to catch a show or attend a meeting with the proceeds!
I’m not suggesting this image requires all fellas needs to buy into that hipster bun look and sign “peace it out” as you take your morning beach walk, wearing nothing but a blanket. This also won’t require chanting or the clanging of symbals.
I’m putting out a challenge to all Sunshine Coasters to take part in alleviating the epidemic of anxiety, depression and spiralling mental-health with another solution!
It was brought to my attention by Hugh Mackay, author, Sociologist, Psychologist and Social Researcher during my interview about the astounding results from the “Compassionate Frome” project.
Frome Medical Practice, serving the 28,000 population in Frome, Somerset in the United Kingdo, have taken the innovative approach of combining a compassionate community programme of community development with routine medical care. They really did reduce emergency admissions to hospital by 30% over 3 years!
What was their secret antidote? They make standard use of the most effective intervention for improving health and longevity - social relationships!
Did you know that social connectedness has a bigger impact on health than giving up smoking, reducing excessive drinking, reducing obesity and any other preventative interventions?
Compassionate Communities UK note that “Until now, it has not been known how to use this in routine clinical practice.” They managed to reconnect people to their own supportive network and the extensive community activity that already exists. They recognise they don’t seek to take the place of social care but this is their methodology:
1. Maximise the benefit of current supportive networks of family, friends and neighbours and the resulting care and connectedness, love and laughter, sharing companionship and values. Some of this is task related to caring and some is increasing a sense of belonging in communities.
2. Building networks of support for the routine matters of life, shopping, cooking, cleaning, looking after the garden and pets, providing lifts.
3. Linking to community activity, such as choir, walking groups, men’s sheds, talking cafes and other interest groups where people can make friendships and share life’s events.
Together, compassionate communities help to reduce isolation and loneliness and bring a sense of belonging into what is sometimes a disconnected society.
Whilst you might not be able to claim your cuppa at Choir practise on Medicare, it’s certainly worth a try?
In the meantime, chat to that person behind the counter at the store, at the bus stop and be bold to make connections.
Joanne Wilson is a neuropsychotherapist, relationship specialist, workshop facilitator and guest speaker. Don’t miss more on this in her “Is This Love” Podcast and download your Spouse It Up Guide at www.relationshiprejuvenator.com
If you’d like to know more on the Suicide Prevention Program at the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience -Thompson Institute, visit www.thealliance.org.au.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples servicing areas including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.