How do we feed our mind as well as our appetite at work? Through ACCESS Programs, employees can now learn how to supercharge their day with the help of Jan Macfarlane, a Clinical Nutritionist.

 

Clinical nutritionist Jan Macfarlane is giving employees food for thought to boost their mood and productivity at work.

Through ACCESS Programs, workers can now tap into Jan’s expertise and learn how to supercharge their day through diet and other healthy lifestyle choices.

“Employees spend a large chunk of their days working, but if their mental and physical health are suffering, so will their productivity,” says Jan (pictured).

“A happy gut leads to a happy mind.”

With research establishing a clear connection between mental and physical health, Jan says it’s time for businesses to take a more holistic approach towards their staff.

“Offering nutritional consultations is a perfect way to get your employees on the right track to better health.

“In addition, provide educational nutritional resources, and inspiration to keep staff motivated.”

The inclusion of a nutritionist builds on traditional employee assistance offered by ACCESS Programs, such as counselling, mediation, trauma response and crisis management.

Manager Ben Wells: “While it’s most important for an employer to provide a safe and healthy workplace, it’s also important to encourage healthy lifestyles among their employees and their families.

“At ACCESS Programs, we have identified that the opportunity to get good and professional advice about our diet is difficult.

“We know that diet significantly impacts our mental health and our ability to work and that workplaces need support in addressing this because it needs to be more than a bowl of fruit in the lunch room.

“Through ACCESS, organisations can offer their employees the opportunity to work with a qualified clinical nutritionist to start the journey of wellbeing.”

Five foods to supercharge your day! 

For a healthy gut, it’s essential to keep our good bacteria happy. These good little bacteria thrive on many of the foods that are great for us too!  Essential fatty acids, polyphenols and fibre found in fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, are all known to assist in a healthy tummy. Jan recommends eating:

Raw Nuts

Nuts contain serotonin, which runs low when you’re feeling down. They’re also full of antioxidants and essential healthy fats too – great for overall brain health!

Snack tip: Try a nut butter spread on top of berries or other fruits and veg. Adding some cacao makes a delicious choc nut butter spread.

Berries

Berries are very rich in antioxidants. They therefore serve as a strong defense against brain degeneration while also boosting happy chemicals in your brain. Oh, and they’re berry yummy, too!

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are powerful little mood boosters whose benefits stem from Tyrosine. This amino acid boosts the brain’s dopamine levels (another feel-good hormone essential for good moods).

Snack Tip: Try tahini – it’s sesame seed paste. It’s great to use in various home-made dips, smoothies or protein balls.

Raw Cacao

Raw cacao is super high in antioxidants that acts as a fantastic brain protective. In addition, cacao naturally contains serotonin and helps boost it. Cacao can also stimulate the release of a compound called anandamide, which causes a slight euphoric, blissful feeling. No wonder we often crave chocolate when we’re feeling down!

Snack Tip: Add to a smoothie or blend it with an avocado for a healthy choc mousse! For a healthy hot chocolate mix cacao with a milk alternative such as almond or coconut milk and sweeten to taste.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins and vitamin D. These all help to keep the brain and nervous system healthy and contribute to a positive mood.

 

 

It’s 1987 and the Grim Reaper looms menacingly through grey mist on our television screens to warn Australians about the threat of AIDS.

In scenes akin to a horror movie, the commercial depicts a group of men, women and children diagnosed with the disease lined up as bowling pins.

A cloaked skull with scythe in hand appears and bowls over the group, their bodies pushed aside to make way for more dead.

Thirty-one years later, people with the blood borne virus are still being knocked down, this time by a State Government which has unceremoniously dumped some of our most marginalised people off its specialist services radar.

As part of $2.5 million in funding cuts from a budget of $130 million, the Government will axe Centacare’s Cheltenham Place support service by the end of the year – without any consultation or, seemingly, due consideration of the facts.

The Government characterises Cheltenham as essentially a homelessness service supporting individuals whose conditions can be well controlled. Wrong!

Among other things, Cheltenham is demonstrably a hospital avoidance service which is saving the Government purse far more than its modest $411,000 operational sting each year.

Cheltenham provides many specialist supports and respite accommodation to people living with HIV and their carers. It is a safe place for them, away from stigma and discrimination; set up to meet –psychosocial and medical needs.

In 17/18, the service worked with nearly 100 people, including those recently diagnosed with HIV, and facilitated 10 early hospital discharges and 37 hospital avoidances.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research shows that conservatively calculated, that has saved the health budget more than $800,000.

As Minister Wade seems to only have considered the dollars, he will find that this service has saved a minimum $400,000 overall.

Of course there are many other people we support to maintain their physical and mental health but who are not seen as imminently at risk but would be without Cheltenham.

The clients we work with have high and complex needs. Most have diagnosed mental health issues. Some have drug and alcohol challenges, physical disabilities and, yes, others have experienced homelessness.

However despite the Government’s assertions, Centacare is experienced in addressing homelessness and is able to professionally meet that need.

Whilst today’s medications for HIV are always improving, they need to be taken routinely every day, over time, to take effect.

When people experience crisis or are living in unsafe or chaotic situations, often the first thing to go is self-care and, with it, the specialist and general medications that control symptoms and severity of illness.

That’s right, the same medications that are so effective they warrant the Government skittling $1.3 million funding for sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses.

So, now, not only are those living with HIV at risk, but there is an increase risk to the wider community as the virus becomes transmittable if medications are not adhered to. This all puts more pressure on an already struggling health system.

It is offensive to suggest there are more appropriate agencies better placed than Centacare (with its 20-year track record in the sector) to provide specialist support to people living with HIV and their carers.

The stigma and discrimination they feel, and the grief, trauma and social isolation this manifests, stymies both their capacity and motivation to engage with mainstream services.

In this context, Cheltenham’s role as a conduit between the client and non-specialist services to not only link people to mainstream supports but ensure that they stay engaged with them has never been so important. Oh, the irony!

HIV did not go away with the Grim Reaper when the commercial was taken off air due to mounting public hysteria over an illness about which Australians were then uninformed.

Our State Government has now removed the only specialist HIV respite and outreach support service in South Australia. So what has really changed in thirty one years?

We still suffer uninformed outcomes.

Dale West is Director of Centacare Catholic Family Services

Centacare is running a six-week Road to Wellbeing support group for women who have experienced domestic violence.

Make new connections and explore common experiences, including:

  • Tactics used by perpetrators to exercise power, coercion and control
  • Common myths about domestic violence
  • Its impact on children
  • Ways to heal in order to live a life free of fear

Hosted  by the Murray Mallee & Adelaide Hills Domestic Violence Service, the free group will run every Friday, from October 19 to November 23, 10am-12.30pm, at Centacare’s Murray Bridge office, 6/2 Sturt Reserve Rd.

Research shows women living in isolated locations experience high rates of domestic and family violence, and sexual assault, yet they live further away from specialist resources and services. This can effect their help-seeking decisions, coping mechanisms and their ability to identify as experiencing domestic violence, even if they are at imminent risk.

Connected, well-informed regional communities can create vital safety pathways for vulnerable families.

Centacare is the state’s largest provider of best-practice support for at-risk women and children outside metropolitan Adelaide.

For more information or to book a place in the group, please phone case managers Pam and Anne on (08) 8215 6320.

Participating in the NDIS begins with a plan to map your dreams but bringing it to life can be daunting, time consuming and stressful.

How will you manage your budget and pay for the supports you choose?

Centacare can do this for you!

Plan Management

As part of your plan, you will need to choose your preferred way to manage your budget and all of the financial transactions involved with accessing your supports.

There are different ways of doing this, including Plan Management.

If this is the best option for you, you may have funding for a Plan Management service provider included in your plan.

By seeking Plan Management support, your other support funds are not reduced – it is provided on top of your other funding requirements and will fall under Improved Life Choices in your plan.

The service providers will send the invoices for your supports to the Centacare Plan Manager who will check the invoice, troubleshoot with the provider if there are any issues and then pay it on your behalf.

The Centacare Plan Manager will also track your budgets and provide you with statements of expenditure each month.

They will assist in maximising the potential benefits of your NDIS plan by ensuring you don’t leave support funding unspent.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Centacare Financial Services with any queries regarding our Plan Management services on (08) 8215 6780 or planmanagement@centacare.org.au.

Music therapist Lucy May has struck a chord with young mums at Malvern Place.

Every week they meet for an hour to sing songs and interact with their children, led by Lucy on guitar.

One of 12 registered music therapists in the state, Lucy is using her qualification – and lifelong study of music, including the flute – to instil confidence and resilience in vulnerable families while on university placement for her Masters of Social Work.

“People might think music is the last thing women in crisis are thinking about, and that they have a million other things on their mind, but everyone deserves to have music in their life; it’s not just for a fortunate few,’’ Lucy says.

Music therapy is a research-based practice aimed at improving health, functioning and wellbeing.

For mothers aged 25 and under engaged in Centacare’s Young Family Support Program at Malvern Place, music therapy is used to foster child development, social skills, confidence, community capacity building and parent/child attachment.

“We hope that if they have a good experience in a playgroup setting at Malvern Place, they will take that confidence with them into the community,’’ Lucy says.

“There’s an intent behind every song we do. ‘’

Percussion instruments, ribbons and drums are used to share traditional and non-traditional songs.

“ One of the big things is seeing the mothers delighting in their children and despite everything else going on in their life, having that one hour just to be with their child,’’ says Lucy.

“Maybe they’ve never been to a playgroup before or they never went as a child. In the first 10 minutes they go from being really unsure to having fun.’’

Malvern Place provides support and accommodation for young pregnant or parenting women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, often because of domestic violence, childhood trauma and other complex challenges.

“The stigma of homelessness and being a young mum can mean these families often miss out on certain things,’’ Lucy says.

“I hope the positive experiences they have here can translate into other parts of their life. If they can build their confidence through music, hopefully it becomes a good memory they can take forward with their children.’’

For more information about Malvern Place, phone (08) 8359 1022 or visit our website.

Centacare has marked National Child Protection Week with a focus on celebrating children and ensuring that their voice is heard and their rights are valued.

Staff were joined by Year One students from St Aloysius College at a special morning tea today, which doubled as the launch of Centacare’s new child rights resources. These include an illustrated booklet and supporting animation.

Aimed at children aged up to 10 years, the resources follow the adventures of three characters – Patch, Pippy and Piper – as they explore their rights, such as their right to feel happy and safe, to understand their culture, and to ask for help when needed.

 

“At the end of the day, the children’s voice is what really matters; it’s what we strive for to create good environments and good opportunities so you can all grow and achieve your full potential,’’ said Leanne Haddad, Manager, Children’s Services.

“In the words of Dr Seuss, a person’s a person no matter how small they are.

“Your voice matters. We want you to be able to dream big, tell us what you think, and to feel safe and happy – and that is essentially what the video and brochure are all about.’’

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director Pauline Connelly said Child Protection Week was a timely reminder of the joy children bring to our lives.

“Being a grandmother has really helped me to re-engage with what it means to celebrate children,’’ she said.

“It’s reminded me a lot of what I realise I’d forgotten. When we have our own children and we get tired and have routines, work and a lot of other stresses, our time with our children can become exhausting and we can forget what amazing little creatures they are – and how much fun and joy and love we can have with them.

“Child protection week is a special way to remember that, and to think about not just celebrating but how we can grow and nurture and protect the beautiful children that are in our care.’’

Music therapist Lucy May, who is currently on student placement at Malvern Place, sang to the children and guests.

They were given packets of painted daisy seeds by Sally Wellington, Manager of the Archdiocese Child Protection Unit, as a symbol of growth and safety. The initiative will be repeated in parishes this Sunday.

Centacare champions the voice of the child and seeks to implement the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care to the fullest potential.

National Child Protection Week (September 2-8) is held annually to remind everyone we all have a part to play in protecting children, and that small actions can lead to big improvements in a child’s life.

The enduring message is that protecting children is everyone’s business and urges all Australians to `Play Your Part’.

Gayle Tourish has seen the many red flags of domestic violence.

From poor mental health to the silencing effect of social stigma, the warning signs are there – often hidden behind the brave front women present for the sake of their children.

Their courage and decision-making in the face of fear, coercion and control is a constant inspiration for Gayle, the new manager of Centacare’s Murray Mallee & Adelaide Hills Domestic Violence Service.

Gayle brings 15 years of experience in community services to the role, most recently in mental health rehabilitation support, court diversion and drug and alcohol services.

“In every sector I’ve worked in, domestic violence has always been there,’’ says Gayle.

“I think that’s why I’m so passionate about this sector; I’ve seen the impact that violence has on women and children from many different angles, but also the victim blaming that goes with that.’’

Gayle is currently completing a PhD at the University of South Australia exploring women’s lived experiences of domestic violence, and the impact of victim-blaming and stigma, on women’s help-seeking behaviour.

“Society still questions why she won’t leave, while holding men and fathers to a much lower level of accountability. That’s something we need to change, but it will take time. The reality is that it’s extremely difficult for women to leave domestic violence due to the financial and social control that’s a part of the abuse.

“The women I’ve met over the years are some of the strongest and most resilient people I know. When you think about what they have to live and cope with every day, and the way they go on for their children; they show incredible resilience.’’

Based at Murray Bridge, the Murray Mallee & Adelaide Hills Domestic Violence Service supported 159 families in 2017/18, with two FTE case managers working across 28,000km2 and a population of 16,708.

Since taking up the position in May, Gayle says she has been impressed by the local community’s commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness.

She hopes to build sector collaboration while working closely with Centacare’s other specialist domestic violence services in Mount Gambier and the Riverland to empower women’s disclosure, planning and help-seeking decisions, and address geographical risk factors, such as social isolation and lack of anonymity in small towns.

Power Community Ltd and Centacare this week held a Power to End Violence Against Women family event at Port Adelaide Football Club, with a focus on shaping positive values and behaviours.

Students engaged in the respectful relationships program brought along their male role models to share their learning,alongside captain Travis Boak, players Paddy Ryder and Emmanuel Irra, and senior coach Ken Hinkley.

White Ribbon Ambassador Ivan Phillips told the story of his stepdaughter, Tash, who was killed in a domestic violence incident.

Following Tash’s death, and the loss of his wife from brain cancer, Ivan embarked on a 15,000-kilometre bike ride around Australia to raise awareness of domestic violence and be a voice for victims.

Centacare Deputy Director Pauline Connelly and Carolyn Power, Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention, also spoke at the event.

More than 3000 male school students have participated in the PEVAW program since it began in 2016, learning about respect, trust, gender equality, healthy relationships and the dangers of abusive behaviour.

 

Pictures: Courtesy Power Community Ltd

Cathie McGoran was working at Olympic Dam inspecting heavy machinery when the urge kicked in to help others.

Surrounded by fly-in-fly-out workers, Cathie watched social isolation, roster patterns and the strain of living away from family and friends take its toll.

“I would constantly have the blokes coming into my office to talk about their problems,’’ she says.

“A couple of them were suicidal and that’s when I really felt like I wanted to do something; that I should be helping people, not inspecting big machinery.

“I think it really changed what I felt passionate about.’’ 

A move to Adelaide and a stint in regulations at Aerotech followed before Cathie commenced her Certificate III and IV and Diploma in Community Services.

After a successful student placement with Outer North Youth Homelessness Service, Cathie joined Centacare full-time.

A Youth Case Worker, she is now the primary daytime support worker for young people at Carlow Place, a specialist homelessness service, based at Elizabeth.

At Carlow, clients aged 16 to 18 years are supported to review and address life circumstances that have led to homelessness or placed them at risk.

“My parents have been married for fifty odd years. I know how supported and loved and accepted I was, and it breaks my heart to see these young people, at their age, don’t have that.

“They are teenagers dealing with way more than they should have to. They should just be worried about who they like that day, not where they’re going to live or where their next meal is coming from.’’

Cathie’s approach is simple: listen to the young people, encourage them to dream, and support them to get their health on track.

“I just want to catch them up so that before they leave here, they know that they’re healthy and that they’ve got supports around them for their mental health and education.

“The things that keep me going are the little wins: When they get up and go to school, and they feel comfortable just to hang out, or they get their driver’s licence.

“Any little positive we celebrate big because they don’t seem to have had them that often.’’

In Homelessness Week, Cathie is urging the community to be more compassionate and understanding.

“Just take a step back. You wouldn’t want to be in their shoes.

“People assume they are on drugs and doing whatever, but they are not the problem. Sometimes it’s their whole situation – a lifetime of a problem.

“Empathise and be compassionate.’’

Cathie’s role is being highlighted as part of Homelessness Week, an annual week coordinated by Homelessness Australia to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions.

Collaborative practice in the north is giving vulnerable young people broader access to crucial support networks.

Centacare is one of many organisations working together to wrap services around clients who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“When the community resources and funding are less than ever, you have to be creative and proactive in getting things to happen,’’ says Tina Breen, Senior Social Worker at our Outer North Youth Homelessness Service. 

“Over the past 12 months we have really focussed on setting up what we call a care team for each young person.

“That means pulling in anybody that’s connected to that young person, and really strongly and purposefully collaborating together; we value what each service can bring to the table and work out how we can cross-services the young person to meet their needs.

“It’s about what we can do together as a sector to give young people the best chance of positive outcomes.’

The approach is giving young people access to multiple services at the same time so they don’t have to navigate complex systems alone, says Tina.

“I went to a meeting yesterday with 12 different agencies supporting one person.

“There is a huge possibility he’ll have really good outcomes because he’s got so much support wrapped around him.

“It’s a really strong community to work in.’’

Homelessness Week is an annual week coordinated by Homelessness Australia to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions.

Centacare

Meeting the Challenge

Centacare Catholic Family Services is a Catholic welfare organisation delivering a range of services across the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Client Services

45 Wakefield Street Adelaide SA 5000
T 08 8215 6700 | F 08 8232 8920
E enquiries@centacare.org.au

Opening Hours

Monday – Tuesday | 9am – 5pm
Wednesday – Thursday | 9am – 9pm
Friday | 9am – 5pm

Quick Exit