Wellness, health and vitality

WELLNESS is a way of living, taking in your mind, body and soul.

Our district has a number of organisations that can help people in their goals, of maintaining health, having vitality and achieving a work-life balance.

Experts in the United States have identified eight dimensions of wellness. These are:

  • Emotional
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Intellectual
  • Occupational
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Spiritual

We all need practical and often, professional help when achieving these dimensions.

This special feature introduces you to organisations in the region that can assist.

So reach out and put your life on track for wellness, vitality and balance. There is help at hand.

FAMILY TIES: Centacare offers programs specifically developed for Aboriginal and CALD communities. It also offers the Family Rural Resilience Program.

FAMILY TIES: Centacare offers programs specifically developed for Aboriginal and CALD communities. It also offers the Family Rural Resilience Program.

CENTACARE NEW ENGLAND NORTH WEST

AN INDIVIDUAL’S wellbeing is the key concern for staff and volunteers at Centacare NENW.

“We help individuals be the best they can be,” acting chief executive David Holzigal said.

“Our services are aimed at an individual’s wellbeing, supporting families – parents, care givers, and children – to build resilience and live happy lives.”

Established in 2001, Centacare NENW provides support for individuals, families, and the community, particularly in remote and rural regions.

“With a workforce of more than 150, including our invaluable volunteers, we provide help and create hope for thousands of people each year across the New England North West,” Mr Holzigal said.

The organisation offers counselling, mediation, disability services, case management and support, and many of their programs are funded by the state and federal governments.

It seeks a holistic approach to helping individuals, Mr Holzigal said.

There are a number of programs aimed to enhance the wellbeing of families, carers, children and young people through short-term and longer-term case management and courses, such as the Family Rural Resilience Program and the Rural Parenting Resilience Program. Centacare also offers programs specifically developed for Aboriginal and CALD communities.

“Our goal is to support you to increase your family’s wellbeing, safety, connectedness, and overall functioning,” Mr Holzigal said.

As a registered NDIS provider, Centacare NENW can also assist with coordination of supports and plan management of your National Disability Insurance Scheme package.

For youths in need of counselling, or a listening ear, there’s headspace Tamworth, which provides information and support to young people around mental health; general health and employment and education.

“Centacare New England North West is ready to listen and support you when life gets tough,” Mr Holzigal said. “It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and there are a lot of ways to find hope, even when it seems too hard.” For more information, phone 1800 372 826.

CHANDRAN ARIANAYAGAM PLASTIC AND COSMETIC SURGEON

INTERNATIONALLY trained and recognised plastic surgeon Chandran Arianayagam set up practice in Coffs Harbour in 1995.

Since then, he has treated thousands of patients with laser and injection therapies, reconstruction and cosmetic surgeries such as face lifts and fat grafting.

“I  believe in giving detailed information to my patients and allowing them the time and space to make their decisions,” Dr Arianayagam said.

“Wherever possible, patients will have at least two consultations prior to treatment, allowing them time to fully consider their options, ask lots of questions and feel comfortable with the approach agreed.”

All procedures are carried out in Coffs Harbour.

Laser and injection therapies are generally carried out in the Scarba Street Clinic; other day procedures may be carried out at the Scarba Street Clinic or at Baringa Day Surgery. 

Those procedures needing an overnight stay will be carried out at Baringa Private Hospital or Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

“We pride ourselves in ‘being there’ for our patients,” Dr Arianayagam said.

“Our patient care team is only a phone call away if you have questions or concerns before or after your procedure.” 

For more information phone 6651 5611.

SPECIALISTS: The team at Tim Duffy from left Lauren Jalkh, Alison Stuart, Sebastian Egan, Deborah Baxter and Tim Duffy. Their mission is to offer quality eyecare.

SPECIALISTS: The team at Tim Duffy from left Lauren Jalkh, Alison Stuart, Sebastian Egan, Deborah Baxter and Tim Duffy. Their mission is to offer quality eyecare.

TIM DUFFY OPTOMETRIST

EYE examinations, contact lens and children’s vision assessment are some of the services carried out by professionals at Tim Duffy Optometrist.

The independent owner and operator has three practices in the New England; at Gunnedah, Narrabri and Coonabarabran.

“Our mission is to offer quality eyecare and services to all of our patients,” Mr Duffy said.

“We have the most up to date technology available to deliver the highest standard of clinical care.”

Optometrists provide primary eye care, investigating eye health and vision concerns.

They can test, assess and diagnosis eye issues and can refer patients on to eye surgeons and ophthalmologists.

Dr Duffy began his practice in Gunnedah in 1985. He later expanded to Narrabri and Coonabarabran and has been joined by Lauren Jalkh, Sebastian Egan, Alison Stuart and Deborah Baxter.

Dr Jalkh has a keen interest in children’s vision and eye disease management; Dr Egan works closely with ophthalmologists in the region to co-manage glaucoma; Dr Stuart has an interest in ocular pathology and Dr Baxter can prescribe medications to treat infections and inflammation.

Tim Duffy Optometrist stocks glasses for reading, driving or the computer, such as bifocals, multifocals or prescription sunglasses.

For more information phone 6792 1342.

GREAT ACHIEVEMENT: Kelly Foran receives a certificate from Barwon MP Kevin Humphries after being nominated for NSW Woman of the Year Barwon Area.

GREAT ACHIEVEMENT: Kelly Foran receives a certificate from Barwon MP Kevin Humphries after being nominated for NSW Woman of the Year Barwon Area.

FRIENDLY FACES HELPING HANDS

IT was her own harrowing experiences with hospital that led Kelly Foran to establish Friendly Faces, Helping Hands in 2010.

The non-for-profit organisation is an online support network for patients and families struggling with day-to-day living during long-term health issues.

It provides information on accommodation, parking, cheap eats, supermarkets and even hairdressers that are located near each metropolitan hospital. 

Links are also available for support networks, social workers and counsellors.

Ms Foran started the service after suffering from a brain tumour while pregnant with her son.

Her baby boy Jake also suffered health issues and the Glen Innes mother found herself in and out of hospitals and doctors’ surgeries.

"Many occasions we struggled to get food, supermarket goods, nappies, milk and parking,” Ms Foran said.

Friendly Faces, Helping Hands aims to assist families when negotiating overwhelming feelings of isolation and giving them the power of information during such difficult times.

Since starting the service, Ms Foran and her team of volunteers have helped more than 45,000 regional Australians.

They have also 5000 kits to patients and families at John Hunter Hospital and other hospitals in the region to help them access services.

For more information, visit friendlyfaces.info

FORGING FRIENDSHIPS: Good social connections not only improve our overall mental health and wellbeing, they also build our resilience.

FORGING FRIENDSHIPS: Good social connections not only improve our overall mental health and wellbeing, they also build our resilience.

HEALTHWISE

Connecting with others is important for our health and survival. 

To help encourage people to do just that, the theme for Mental Health Month 2017 is, Share the Journey.

This theme focuses on the importance of social connections in our journey to better mental health and our ability to cope with life’s challenges. 

Good social connections not only improve our overall mental health and wellbeing, they also build our resilience. 

Finding the right place to start the journey is a difficult decision when you are feeling isolated and alone, however, the first step could be looking around and seeing the possibilities; it might be striking up a conversation at the children’s sports, participating in the park run or looking at what events are on locally that interest you.

There is no prescribed amount of time or people you need to connect with others to promote your mental wellness. 

HealthWISE offers a range of mental health services that can help:

  • If you have symptoms of anxiety or depression that last for more than a few weeks
  • If you or your partner  are pregnant or recently had a baby and are finding this difficult
  • If you have recently been in hospital after a suicide attempt
  • If you feel that something is not right and things are not getting better

Visit healthwisenenw.com.au to find out more about our services.