Reach out to iReach for a better life
Charity iReach Rural Health explain their name change and what services iReach offer the Murraylands community.
This sponsored post is brought to you by iReach Rural Health.
The former Murray Mallee General Practice Network has a new name.
The organisation has always been about reaching out to the community, enabling clients to achieve physical and mental wellbeing, reach higher goals and lead better lives.
That was why it had chosen to re-brand as iReach Rural Health, CEO Cathy Spanton said.
“It’s all about empowerment,” she said.
“When we started, our main focus was support for GPs, but now we’re more service providers, so the new name better reflects what we do.”
Clinical services manager Lisa Courtney explained that the logo meant different things to different people.
“The logo shows the ripple effect of people’s caring and reaching for the yellow ball or sun,” she said.
To enable people to reach that yellow object, representing hope, iReach provides holistic alcohol and drug services; mental health therapy for people on low incomes; and chronic pain services through a range of individual and group programmes.
These programmes include Matrix, an intensive outpatient rehab service for people using methamphetamines or opioids; Thriving Well, a group for people with chronic pain; and art therapy.
iReach is also the lead agency for youth mental health centre Headspace in Murray Bridge, and is about to deliver a care finder program which will help vulnerable older people access aged care services.
All of iReach’s services are free, and as a not-for-profit, their funding goes back into the community they serve – a big community that includes the Murray, the Mallee and the Coorong.
The Country SA Primary Health Network funds all of iReach’s services apart from drug and alcohol services, which the Department of Health and Aged Care funds.
And iReach practise what they pReach – they too reach for the heights through their own worthy goals.
“We hope to one day have a social enterprise called Second Beginnings – a café, op shop and garden that would offer work opportunities for people,” Ms Courtney said.
“It would be the next phase of recovery for a lot of people and being able to dream a new life.
“We all need meaning and purpose, and work is one of the ways to do that.”
Also, Ms Courtney added, “in July, we’ll start to explore hope to help prevent suicide, and we’re hoping for community participation”.
In relation to the recent flooding event in the region, iReach is there to provide support.
“We have mental health clinics at the flood recovery centre (28 Bridge Street, Murray Bridge) on Fridays and in Mannum on Thursdays, and we have mental health workshops with gardening expert Sophie Thomson coming up in June,” Ms Courtney said.
For those who haven’t done much gardening, the connection between it and mental wellbeing may not be obvious, but Ms Spanton explained that “gardening can be a cost-effective self-therapy for people”.
“Gardening is amazing for wellbeing in many ways, and gardens are also an areas of loss (in natural disasters),” Ms Courtney added.
“Our overwhelming message for flood recovery is that the flood is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to make time for mental health.”
More information about iReach: Visit ireach.org.au or phone 8531 1303.
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