Gaining an understanding of mental health

MEMBER for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has spent a day in the shoes of the staff at Mind.

As part of a new project to get to know the electorate, Ms Chesters visited a number of mental health services on Wednesday.

She shadowed staff throughout the day, attended handover in the morning and sat in on a clinical team meeting.

Ms Chesters said the aim of the project was to learn about the organisations, the challenges they face, and how the federal government could better support them.

“It was just amazing,” she said.

 “A Day in Your Shoes is a way for me to get out in the community and find out exactly what support central Victorian organisations need.

“It started when I was approached when I was having a coffee and someone asked if I knew what was going on in mental health and I said I didn’t really so they asked me to come along for a day to see for myself.

“It was such an education and gave me an insight into what they do every day.

“I learnt how committed and how passionate the workers are to get people back on track.

“There are people who have fallen off the ladder and they are helping them back up.

“As part of A Day in Your Shoes I will be visiting places such as Mind, which does an incredible amount of work in our community, once a month.

“It’s a way for me to find out how we can better assist the people who are accessing these services.”

Ms Chesters is also inviting people to suggest ideas for ways she can spend a day in their shoes.

“I have a couple of ideas - someone suggested living on a pension, a shift worker, a farmer or a cleaner,” she said.

“I want to do a variety of things.

“I think it is amazing the Bendigo electorate has such diversity in the community and I need to understand the challenges they all face.”

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