A new way of delivering services

A new way of delivering services

10 June 2020

Delivering services looked very different at Mates4Mates over the past few months. General Manager, Service Delivery and Operations, Bernadette Praske explains how as an organisation we adapted in times of need to support veterans.

As February rolled into March, like everyone else, we had been watching COVID-19 cases start to climb around the globe. Little did we think that it would result in the Mates4Mates Family Recovery Centres being closed by the end of the month.  

But from March 16, as restrictions tightened, we had to start transitioning services online and by March 25, our Centres had closed.  

We knew that stopping services was not an option as many veterans who access our support have critical health needs and need support to manage their injuries or mental health illnesses.  

We also knew that if Mates felt isolated, this could easily exacerbate conditions, and result in relapses or increased mental health concerns. These don’t only impact the Mate, but the entire family unit. 

Within days, staff rallied together to come up with a strategy for delivering services online and rolled it out, all while keeping Mates and stakeholders informed through regular communications.  

Starting with the transition of our psychology and exercise appointments online, we then developed a wide range of online social connection and wellbeing programs, including online Pilates, fitness sessions and yoga, to virtual cooking and art classes, and coffee support groups. 

Our Mates and their families continued to engage and access services – but just in a more virtual way. Our dedication to them and their recovery remained the same and as a result, many continued on their path to recovery. 

Throughout April and May, as an organisation we: 

  • Delivered over 650 psychology appointments via telehealth 
  • Delivered over 270 exercise physiology appointments  
  • Provided over 700 pieces of content online from virtual cooking classes and coffee groups to online fitness challenges, health educations sessions, art lessons and yoga 
  • Had more than 140 people participate in online PT sessions  
  • Made over 1,100 welfare calls to Mates  
  • Held 138 activities via zoom, resulting in over 480 hours of activities.  

This week, the Mates4Mates Family Recovery Centres in Brisbane, Townsville and Hobart have reopened. As we plan our services for the remainder of 2020, we have the opportunity to continue adapting and ensuring we’re meeting the needs of veterans.

Stopping services was not an option so we adapted, we learnt, we adapted some more, and proudly continued to deliver services through the months our doors were closed. 

This week, the Mates4Mates Family Recovery Centres in Brisbane, Townsville and Hobart have reopened. As we plan our services for the remainder of 2020, we have the opportunity to continue adapting and ensuring we’re meeting the needs of veterans. 

One of our Mates said, “I’ve felt more connected with Mates4Mates than I did prior to COVID-19 isolation, thanks to their extra online presence.” 

Feedback like this does not go unnoticed. As a result, we will continue to offer some services online to complement our face-to-face services offered at each Family Recovery Centre and in outreach areas.  

This includes online Pilates and yoga classes, social connection activities and more. No matter where veterans live, there are services they will be able to access online.  

Psychology and exercise physiology appointments will also continue to be available via telehealth with a GP referral until the end of September at this stage.  

Veterans who have not yet joined Mates4Mates can do so at mates4mates.org to access both online and face-to-face services. Veterans accessing psychology and exercise physiology appointments do not need to join Mates4Mates. They simply need a Medicare or DVA referral from a GP. 

Give us a call to find out more on 1300 462 837. 


 
 

 

 

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