Elizabeth Rullis, Lifeline Macarthur and Western Sydney Community Collaborative Coordinator, was busy in June.
She gave a seniors wellbeing talk at Bankstown Sports Club on the differences between mental health and mental ill health, spoke to the male workers at Bunnings Bonnyrigg during Men's Week, and told Macquarie Fields TAFE Mental Health and Community Services students all about the mental health industry and Lifeline Macarthur and Western Sydney’s services and activities in the community.
Liz regularly attends the Rev. Bill Crews Foundation Loaves and Fishes at Liverpool Uniting Church and sometimes at a hub near Miller Shopping Centre.
She interacts with people attending for free meals and provides services including:
information sharing, with brochures from lifeline and other services
investigating support services and relaying the results back
“Not everyone is homeless or needs free meals,” she said. “Some are hoarders and cannot access their kitchens and some come for the interaction and social contact.
“Currently I am trying to get support for an elderly man who has lived in his car for the last two years.
“Another man is in the midst of receiving assistance to clean his unit. We helped him get the support.”
On 20 June Liz attended the Fairfield Council Youth Initiative “World Cup”, for Year 7 – 9 high school students, at Fairfield Showground.
While some soccer players battled it out on the field, diverse community services provided games and entertainment for the young attendees. Lifeline set up very well-attended ping pong games.
“It was a very fun day,” said Liz.
Concern for elders
During her talk to 250 seniors at Bankstown Sports Club, Liz focused on mental health and mental illness conditions and suicide prevention for men.
“Men will not share worries or problems and they get to the point where they cannot cope anymore,” she said.
“This is a concern because elders may suicide because loss of status, feeling useless, or experiencing pain, financial despair and loneliness.”
Generally, she said, as people aged they decreased their social contacts through:
losing a partner
family having less time for elders
She said seniors were at greater risk of mental conditions due to:
misuse of medications
little to no medical care
poor eating habits
Picture above (clockwise) is Liz with our new Suicide Prevention Coordinator Nalini Heynen at Fairfield Council's Youth "World Cup", with the crew from the Bill Crews Foundation, speaking at Macquarie Fields TAFE, and at Bankstown Sports Club.