GriefLine’s Mandarin helpline and skype service will launch in May, with new volunteers trained in counselling, and especially dealing with older people.
The service will be offered every Wednesday from 8pm to 10pm, and is for Mandarin speakers who are experiencing loneliness and isolation, depression, anxiety and stress, and cultural isolation.
The service has been introduced thanks to funding from the Kingston Charitable Foundation.
“Our research showed that the older Chinese community are increasingly socially isolated and that they face enormous loss and grief associated with migration and ageing,” CEO Catherine Cini said.
“While there are various services available to Chinese people, there is little that particularly focuses on mental health and wellbeing,” she added.
The new program has enabled GriefLine to train Cantonese and Mandarin speaking volunteers to deliver free listening and support each week, and support a volunteer recruitment and training program to increase volunteers with a Chinese background.
The 2011 Census reported that migrants born in China are the third largest overseas born population in Australia. The elderly Chinese population is projected to be in the top five group of overseas born Australians by 2022.
The City of Kingston has a higher population of older people than the Greater Melbourne area with almost 10% aged 70-84. Cantonese is in the top Languages Other than English (LOTE) spoken at home.
The Skype id is live:enquiries_7354
The phone number is: (03) 9028 7951