Mandurah mental health initiative connects neighbours

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

For many COVID-19 gave us a new sense of love for our neighbours but for some making neighbourhood connections can be difficult.

One group, Neighbourhood Connect, is working to make everyone in Mandurah have a sense of connection with their neighbours through a trial funded by the Perth South Suicide Prevention Trial.

Neighbourhood Connect project coordinator Maureen Maher said the mental health initiative promoted social integration as an important step to combat loneliness and depression.

"We help people connect with their neighbours and support people by way of webinars, tools, information, invitation templates, and support," she said.

"Traditionally we might have come together organically with our neighbourhoods but I think a lot of people don't know how to connect - We give them support to do that.

"We ran two workshops before COVID-19 in Meadow Springs to teach them how to connect with their neighbours."

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Maureen said during the pandemic it was more important than ever to have friendships with neighbours.

"During this time in COVID-19 the people who did have neighbourhood connections were doing really well," she said.

"People found a new sense of love for their neighbours during this time."

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Bank of I.D.E.A.S director Peter Kenyon added that there was a "silver lining" in COVID-19.

"COVID-19 has had many silver linings and one is that while many traditional services and programs could not function, community solidarity, neighbour support and local compassion flourished," he said.

"People discovered that only way to get through difficult times is together, to truly experience connection with others."

If you want to plan a catch up with neighbours an event kit can be borrowed from the Lakelands library, which includes cutlery, cups, plates and a table.