Counting the cost Counting the cost
20 July 2020

Counting the cost

A recent meeting between the Governor of South Australia and City of Onkaparinga’s mayor and CEO looked at how communities are coping with the strain of COVID-19.

As our communities continue to feel the strain from COVID-19, organisations on the frontlines are reporting an increase in mental health issues and domestic violence.

The community impact of the pandemic was the key focus of a recent meeting between His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia and the City of Onkaparinga’s Mayor, Erin Thompson, and CEO Scott Ashby.

The trio spoke frankly about an increase in local incidents of domestic violence, suicide, mental health issues and homelessness—echoing communities around the world—and what’s being done to help those in need.

“COVID-19 has placed immense pressure on our communities and it’s been heartbreaking hearing some of the stories about families doing it tough,” Mayor Thompson said.

“Whatever your situation, there is help and support available to help you through it. You can start by talking to someone in person or on the phone at your local church, community centre or library; reaching out to a local support organisation; or seeking guidance from a national phone chat support service.”

The City of Onkaparinga website has a regularly updated list of services available during COVID-19 if you or someone you know is dealing with things such as mental health issues, domestic violence and homelessness. See a shortened list below or visit the comprehensive list on the website.

If you need someone to talk to, call:

Family and domestic violence support:

Council’s role

“While council doesn’t have direct roles in policing, mental health service provision or employment placement, we work closely with agencies and not-for-profits to support, connect and inform their services, and supplement them with our own,” Mayor Thompson said.

“Council’s Community Capacity team provides connections for residents doing it tough with links to information, supports they need and an array of programs.

“We provide many opportunities to connect with others through a range of activities because we acknowledge that providing connections for people creates a local support system and is an important part of the solution for people going through challenging times.

“Other council roles include supporting the development of local community leaders and groups in being able to respond to emerging social issues; working together with local services to develop preventative initiatives, and advocating for legislative change via the Local Government Association and advocacy bodies.”

IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS

His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia speaking with the City of Onkaparinga's Mayor Erin Thompson and CEO Scott Ashby.

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