Port Waratah Coal Services has extended its funding of the Soul Café mental health clinic, allowing the clinic to provide additional services to the local community.
Soul Café CEO, Rick Prosser said the service the clinic offers is essential to provide guests with outreach mental health support in a friendly, familiar environment.
Port Waratah has been funding the clinician for 10 hours per week since 2015. The partnership between Soul Café and Port Waratah Coal Services will now enable the Mental Health Clinician to be funded for a total of 25 hours per week.
“This gives us the ability to maintain our highly qualified clinician and greater opportunity to support our most vulnerable guests,” Rick said.
In 2017, 344 mental health sessions were provided to 100 individuals, most of who carry very complex health related issues. Coupled with Soul Café’s volunteer run Doctor’s Clinic, the synergies and outcomes for the guests are in some cases life changing and lifesaving.
Glenn has shared his experience with the clinic. He has been seeing Tim, Soul Cafe’s Mental Health Clinician, for the past three months. When Glenn first came to Soul Café, he had lost access to his son due to relationship breakdown. As a result of this, he was connected with Tim, and was assisted on a journey to reconnect with his son, who is now in his care. The Mental Health Clinician is now supporting Glenn with parenting and maintaining the reconnection with his son.
“After seeing Tim, it’s a relief. He doesn’t sugar coat things. He’s upfront and honest with you. He will tell you things that you need to hear, but in a good way,” Glenn said.
“Tim has been sick for two weeks, and I was really struggling, but I saw him yesterday and we spoke for an hour. I feel better today and reassured after seeing him again. He’s good to talk to and I feel comfortable around him.”
Port Waratah CEO, Hennie du Plooy said he was grateful for the partnership with Soul Café and pleased to see the community funded organisation go from strength to strength.
“We are so proud that we can support a group like Soul Café – a local organisation supporting our local people in need. The growth of the service, and its positive impact on Newcastle’s most needy is a testament to the volunteers and staff,” Hennie said.
“Our Community Investment and Partnership Programme is something we are very proud to share with the Newcastle and Hunter Region, and it is with partnerships like that with Soul Café that we can help deliver positive benefits to our local community.”
IMAGE | Port Waratah CEO, Hennie du Plooy; Soul Café Mental Health Clinician, Tim; Port Waratah Environment and Community Relations Manager, Trudie Larnach; and Soul Café CEO, Rick Prosser.