New era for Ruah

Mental Health Week Feature: 7-14 Oct

New era as Ruah moves into Norfolk Street office

RUAH Community Services has opened new offices in Norfolk street Fremantle, moving from South Terrace to a more “welcoming and modern space”.

The event was opened by Dr Richard Walley who performed a welcome to country.

Ruah CEO Debra Zanella said as a sector leader in community service delivery the organisation was committed to reducing the stigma surrounding issues such as homelessness and mental illness and empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
“The Norfolk Street location was chosen as it allows us to deliver more comprehensive services in the community and create an environment that is appropriate and accessible for clients,” she says.

“The new office is a key component in delivering on our strategic plan and enhancing the Ruah brand in the community.”

The services are a welcome relief for those struggling with mental health illnesses as admissions for the in-patient facility at Fremantle Hospital, the Alma Street Ward, has been relocated to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch.

“Ruah partners with and works collaboratively with other service providers in the Fremantle area in order to bring comprehensive services to the people of Fremantle,” Ms Zanella said.

“Staff from Ruah’s Mental Health and Wellness services will be based at the office, improving access to services for people. Our Mental Health and Wellness Services include flexible and personalised one-to-one support, NDIS, Recreation program and the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP),” Ms Zanella said.

Senior lecturer of addiction at Edith Cowan University, Stephen Bright said Ruah did a great job to support the community and there were other means to treat mental health issues.

“Recovery action plans and changing the way victims view trauma is important before medicating certain levels of mental illness

“As a clinically trained psychologist I’m excited for the new wave of mental health awareness in this generation and the pharmaceutical trials in the US on new psychedelic medications,” he said.

Mental health advocate Sarah Quinton said although things had improved, more education was needed in the state to abolish the stigma against confronting mental health issues.

“I still think workplaces don’t give enough compassion and care for people with depression.

“It’s different for everyone and that’s why mental health is so complicated,” Ms Quinton said.

Fremantle resident Carissa Wright lives with the condition Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and has intense suicide ideation but with professional help and friends she is proud to say that dark days are becoming fewer.

“I have been in the mental health system for 11 years now, I’ve had nurses tell me that I’m fine and I should go home because I’ll feel better tomorrow,” Ms Wright said.

“If I look back 11 years ago I would have never have written a blog about my experiences with mental health, so things have improved but I have experienced some bad things in the mental health system; I hope Ruah can help those suffering in the Fremantle community,” she said

Ms Zanella said staff have put in significant effort to make this new office a reality and she says it will provide numerous benefits to the community.

If you are feeling suicidal or are worried about a friend contact Ruah on 13 RUAH (13 7824) or call lifeline on 13 11 14.

by JACKSON LAVELL-LEE

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