Free mental health service, The Banksia Project, expands virtual support programs amid mental health crisis

Mental health not-for-profit, The Banksia Project, has expanded on its free virtual support service to assist even more Australians during lockdown.

The Banksia Project.

Mental health not-for-profit, The Banksia Project, has expanded on its free virtual support service to assist even more Australians during lockdown. Through its free “Growth Rooms” program, all Australians can connect with others, share their experiences and learn practical lifestyle tips to help them through this challenging time. 

Focused on early intervention in mental health, The Banksia Project’s Growth Rooms program invites the community to take part in a 2-hour weekly or monthly group session, led by trained volunteer facilitators, who guide participants through practical skills designed by medical health professionals. Each session explores a different topic based on the group’s challenges and provides a judgement-free, safe environment for them to connect with like-minded people and navigate through life’s ups and downs.

A recent survey* indicated that after just three Growth Room sessions, participants reported feeling 40% more connected, 30% more resilient and 25% happier. The Banksia Project’s Program Director, Jack Jones said that this response was indicative of Australia’s need for more accessible services to help Australians cope with their day to day.

“The Banksia Project’s focus on community and open sharing is vital to overcoming anxiety and loneliness, particularly as Victoria, in particular, combats this second wave of COVID-19. It’s clear that Australians are actively looking for support networks, and we are determined to encourage anyone in need to join a free Growth Room and experience its benefits.” 

Each Growth Room hosts a maximum of 10 people to ensure participants and facilitators can forge strong, ongoing relationships. All Growth Room programs are structured in conjunction with mental health professionals, and additional support and referral networks are available if required. 

“We liken our groups to a ‘gym for the mind’, as they encourage prevention and maintenance of mental health through education, regular support, trust and mateship. We recommend participants attend as many sessions as they require to build a strong sense of community and a self-care strategy tailored to their needs,” concluded Jack. 

In addition to attending a Growth Room, community members can apply to become a volunteer facilitator and undergo free training provided by The Banksia Project.

To register for a free virtual Growth Room, visit: https://thebanksiaproject.org.au

*Based on an average of participant feedback following three Growth Room sessions.

Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

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