About The In-Touch Initiative
Carers Victoria has been funded through the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network to co-design and develop an intervention for carers to improve their social connectedness. The In-Touch Initiative aims to reduce the impact of loneliness and social isolation. The project arose through community consultations, where social connections were identified as fundamental to physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.
The evidence-based intervention will centre on cognitive reframing concepts to promote behaviour change. It will also incorporate psycho-education, narratives, storytelling, individual support and is underpinned by co-design themes.
The University of Melbourne
Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is a public-spirited institution that makes distinctive contributions to society in research, learning and teaching and engagement. It is consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world, with international rankings of world universities placing it as number 1 in Australia and consistently in the top 50 universities in the world. The University is also a leader in cultural, environmental, medical, scientific, legal and social research.
Think Impact work with a broad mix of for-purpose organisations, businesses and government to provide consultancy services across strategic advisory roles, program and service design, management and evaluation, communication tools and capacity building training. Think Impact work collaboratively with clients to understand, communicate, and transform the social impact of their work into long term sustainable practice for purpose.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network
PHNs have been established with the key objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes; and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place, at the right time. NWMPHN recognises the role that social connectedness can have on health and wellbeing. It has been found that loneliness and social isolation are as bad as smoking and obesity for our overall health.
Carers Victoria is working with a range of stakeholders and community members through a co-design process. The aim of co-design is to ensure that users, as 'experts' of their own experience, become central to the design process.
Approximately 200 people and 50 organisations were consulted and/or involved in meetings, workshops, discussions, and surveys
A survey was distributed to thousands of people through our networks, with 124 completed responses received. The survey asked people to share their thoughts on loneliness, social isolation, connectedness and the importance of having purpose and meaning in your life
Four co-design workshops were held at various locations during November and December, where the above themes were explored further, and ideas were sought on the way the group program should run and what it should contain
Upcoming Pilot Programs
The In-Touch Initiative is a nine week program that has been co-designed by carers, to help them build confidence and strength to address some of these challenges.
The first five weeks will consist of three-hour, face to face group sessions to promote a deeper understanding of connectedness and personal wellbeing. During the group sessions, trained facilitators will help participants develop their own plans to explore ways to feel more connected in their lives.
Following on from the group sessions there are an additional four weeks of individual phone support to help participants implement their plans and come back to attend a final get-together.
To participate you must:
- Be a carer
- Be aged between 40 and 65 years
- Live in either the City of Hume or City of Wyndham
- Commit to attending all sessions
If you live in Hume upcoming Pilot Program
When 5 Wednesdays (Beginning late March)
Time 10.00am – 1.00pm including breaks
Where Broadmeadows (close to train station)
Cost Free (lunch provided)
If you live in Wyndham upcoming Pilot Program
When 5 Thursdays (Beginning late March)
Time 10.00am – 1.00pm incl. breaks
Where Tarneit (close to train station)
Cost Free (lunch provided)
Express your interest
Click here to express your interest in being considered for this program.
Once the Pilot has been held, the program will undergo a re-design and improvement phase before being held again.
Future programs will be run again in approximately September 2020 and February 2021.
If you are unable to attend the pilot program but are still interested in future programs, please click here.