From how to access a psychologist, to the phone number for a local knitting group, answering these questions is all in a day’s work for a team of dedicated mental health peer support workers who run the Peer Pathways helpline.
Operated by Consumers of Mental Health WA, Peer Pathways supports people with a mental health challenge to navigate the complex supports available to them within the social and health care systems that can improve their mental health and physical wellbeing.
So far, the team of peer navigators have taken calls from more than 800 Western Australians, mainly from people with a mental health condition, but also from families, carers, school teachers, psychologists and GPs, among others.
WA Primary Health Alliance General Manager Commissioned Services, Mark Cockayne said people may take for granted the ability to manage their health and wellbeing and interact with organisations to seek out information or even make an appointment.
“But for people with a mental health issue, navigating the activities of daily life can be challenging and they may struggle to get the help they need, which is why a service like Peer Pathways is invaluable and why we funded it.”
Acting CEO of Consumers of Mental Health WA, Sandra Higgins, said Peer Pathways also provides people with the skills to better self-advocate.
“By providing them with a navigation plan, our team encourages people to make decisions about what best works for them,” Ms Higgins said.
“People are coming back to us, as they’ve found the service helpful. And it’s not just navigating them towards clinical supports, we know people’s wellbeing can also be improved by connection to community supports.”
As well as continuing to help people live their lives to the fullest, the Peer Pathways team’s future focus will be on housing challenges and supporting people in the regions who have less choice and can find it difficult to find out what is available.
For more information, visit peerpathways.org.au or call (08) 9477 2809 if you want to speak to one of the Peer Pathways team.
Other support services
Peer Pathways is not a mental health emergency line.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help, call Lifeline 13 11 14.
In an emergency, call triple zero (000).