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Supporting mentally healthy communities

As the end of the year approaches, many of us are no doubt looking forward to spending some time relaxing, recharging and reconnecting with loved ones.

For others though, ongoing pressures in the form of Pandemic-related health concerns, job losses, money worries and even trying to navigate the ‘new normal’ – not to mention additional stresses brought by the holiday period – are still ongoing, with Mental Health Australia noting one in five Australians reportedly feel high levels of distress due to the Pandemic.

With millions of people living and working in communities served by our electricity and gas services, we want to help make 2022 a safer and hopefully brighter year.

This week, our Group is pleased to donate $100,000 to Austin Health, Western Health, Westmead Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and Dubbo Hospital ($20,000 each) to help provide vital mental health and wellbeing support for people across our local New South Wales and Victorian networks.

Recognising the frontline role healthcare workers continue to play throughout the Pandemic as well as in delivering ongoing hospital, inpatient, outpatient and other specialist mental health services, donations will fund initiatives that both enhance general community and local healthcare staff mental health and wellbeing; something Jemena Managing Director Frank Tudor believes is key.

“Just like energy we know healthcare is a 24/7 job; and many of our healthcare workers continue to work long hours and under some very challenging conditions to keep us all safe and well,” said Mr Tudor.

“After such a tough year, we want to make sure both they and our communities have access to the programs, services or support they need.”

Donations will fund a variety of activities nominated by each healthcare network, including staff counselling and psychological safety sessions, refurbishment of specialist service facilities, new patient communications resources and free coffees for those working long hours over the holidays.

Learn more, including how your support can make a difference, below.

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Austin Health (VIC)

Located in Melbourne’s north-east, Austin Health are renowned for their specialist work in cancer, infectious diseases, obesity, sleep medicine, intensive care medicine, neurology, endocrinology, mental health and rehabilitation. Each year the hospital provides more than 1 million episodes of care to the community.

With four main sites across Melbourne including the Austin Hospital, they have cared for over 209* COVID-19 inpatients and have administered over 240,000* vaccinations across the north-east region. 

Austin Health, as a tertiary mental health service, support children and adolescents who suffer from ill mental health. The Child & Youth Mental Health Service provides comprehensive care and treatment to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable children aged 0-13 years.

“Thanks to our community of generous donors, specialised spaces have been created and new sensory equipment has been purchased to help reduce anxiety and distress in young patients. We are committed to strengthening our mental health system to deliver better outcomes for the community and our staff.” – Cheyne Brudenell, Head of Philanthropy, Austin Health. 

Jemena’s donation will support free coffees for hospital staff – offering a moment of quiet respite during some particularly busy holiday shifts away from family – as well as the refurbishment of a specialist Brain Disorder Unit to ensure it meets the sensory and care needs of vulnerable patients experiencing a mental illness or disability.

Want to show your appreciation? Support their Donate a Coffee Appeal here.

Western Health (VIC)

As the major healthcare provider to one of the fastest growing and most diverse regions of Australia, Western Health provides a comprehensive, integrated range of hospital and community-based services for almost 900,000 people living across Melbourne’s west, including from their three acute public hospitals: Footscray Hospital, Sunshine Hospital and Williamstown Hospital.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, their team has cared for roughly 40% of Australia’s COVID patients, operating the largest and busiest testing site in Melbourne and delivering vaccinations for almost 50% of metro Melbourne.

“Much like the year before, 2021 has certainly been another incredibly challenging period for both our people and communities. Strong vaccination rates have meant reduced demand for our dedicated COVID beds, however maintaining everyone’s safety and well-being - mental and physical- remains our priority” said Melissa Grenville, Corporate Partnerships Manager for Western Health Foundation.

Jemena’s donation will support the health and wellbeing of Western Health staff through providing staff access to webinars that provide counselling and psychological safety sessions with mental-health strategist and clinical specialist Mark Butler - supporting them with stressful times, resilience and capacity in their work place and everyday lives.

The donation will also support patient mental health (an area of significant demand exacerbated throughout the Pandemic) by supporting the mental health needs of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, who often require additional psychological support to deal with a traumatic and stressful time. The Western Health ICU team will produce an ICU recovery booklet that will support patients and families following an ICU stay, based on their innovative approach to co-design and peer support programs, and translated into the most common languages to reflect community diversity.

Want to show your support? Donate to Western Health Foundation here.

Westmead Hospital (NSW)

Part of the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), Westmead Hospital is the principal referral hospital for Western Sydney, known for its comprehensive, highly specialised and complex services. Servicing a population of around 1.85 million people, they provided an incredible 212,000+ occasions of care over the 2019/20 period, including through their major trauma, neonatal, neurosurgery, toxicology, cardiology, oncology and Intensive Care services, and their Emergency Department is one of the busiest in Australia.

WSLHD Mental Health Services also support people across their lifespan with a range of mental illnesses and disorders from prevention through to early detection and intervention, triage, assessment, acute and sub-acute care, and various levels of treatment and ongoing support in the community.

“At Westmead Hospital Foundation, we believe everyone who is sick deserves the best possible medical treatment and care. We also care deeply about protecting the wellbeing of Hospital staff, who have continued to deliver an incredible level of care for patients during a very challenging year” said Mat Fisher, CEO at Westmead Hospital Foundation - the principal charity for Westmead Hospital.

For Westmead, Jemena’s donation will help support free access for both staff and patients to programs offering positive mental health and wellbeing building practices, including mindfulness, relaxation, meditation and more.

Want to show your appreciation? Support Westmead Hospital Foundation here.

St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney (NSW)

Built on a foundation of compassion in 1857 by the Sisters of Charity to serve the poor and disadvantaged, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has grown into one of the most iconic and highly regarded tertiary teaching hospitals in NSW.  St Vincent’s provides significant training and research, conducts lifesaving surgeries and houses specialty units such as the St Vincent’s Heart Lung Transplant Unit, Nursing Research Institute, and Mental Health Services that are internationally recognised as centres of excellence.

With some of the country’s highest levels of urban social disadvantage, St Vincent’s is leading the way by providing a comprehensive range of services and interventions to help improve health outcomes of marginalised men and women mainly located in the inner city.

“St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has a proud history of delivering mental health care and support services to the NSW community upholding our four core values which are compassion, justice, integrity and excellence,” said Jennifer Mastras, Community Partnerships Manager, St Vincent’s Curran Foundation.

“St Vincent’s specialty services, from early intervention programs to inpatient and outreach community services, are tailored to meet the vital and diverse needs of our local communities. We are sincerely grateful for the support of all our donors and benefactors, as it allows us to continue delivering compassionate care , with a sense of support, dignity and hope for our patients.”

“On behalf of all our doctors, nurses and support staff here at St Vincent’s, we thank Jemena for their wonderful donation in recognition and appreciation of our frontline workers for all that they do to protect the community during these challenging times. Jemena have also made a most generous donation towards funding a special project for some of the most vulnerable members of our community, many of whom are homeless, suffering chronic mental illness, substance misuse and other complex health issues.”

Want to show your appreciation? Make a donation to St Vincent's Hospital Sydney here.

Dubbo Hospital (NSW)

Dubbo Hospital is a part of the Western NSW Local Health District and a major rural referral facility providing critical care, specialist medical inpatient and outpatient services, surgery, mental health and many specialised allied health and medical outreach services.

The hospital – which is currently undergoing a major transformation – provides a range of acute inpatient and ambulatory care services including general medical and surgical, maternity, gynaecology, paediatrics, rehabilitation, critical care, renal dialysis, oncology, palliative care, hospital in the home and diagnostic services. The Health Service also offers a wide range of primary and community health services including child and family health services, mental health services and antenatal and post-natal services.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Dubbo Team has cared for many COVID patients, either as a hospital inpatient, through the Emergency Department, through walk and/or drive through clinics stood up for testing and vaccination programs and has been involved in a massive Care in the Community Program.

“At Dubbo Hospital, we believe people living and working in rural and remote areas deserve the same access to critical health services as those living in our major cities. As we are still seeing many patients experiencing longer term side effects from COVID-19 (or ‘long COVID’), Jemena’s donation will help us provide training to staff in our integrated care and Mental Health teams to support these clients, while also taking good care for themselves” said Vicky Scott, Dubbo & Region Hub Manager Mental Health Drug and Alcohol, WNSWLHD.

Want to show your appreciation? Make a donation here.