If you are feeling lonely or disconnected from your usual social support network due to COVID-19, you can receive support from the Australian Red Cross and local community organisations with just one phone call.
The Victoria COVID-19 hotline has recently expanded to provide emotional support to people who are feeling isolated and vulnerable. If you call the COVID-19 hotline (1800 675 398) and select “option three”, you will be connected to an Australian Red Cross volunteer. The volunteers are trained to help callers who may be feeling distressed or anxious about COVID-19.
They are available to talk with you, provide a friendly ear and identify your support needs. The Australian Red Cross will then link you in with local support and information by referring you to support at Monash Council through the Community Connector. The Community Connector is someone who can help you connect with local services and social support that suit your needs and interests. Residents can also contact the Monash Community Connector directly, without referral from the COVID-19 Hotline.
Community Connector can assist people to find local, practical support and join in with social activities, such as video chats, online book and film clubs or fitness groups. Community Connector may also be able to assist existing community groups to adapt during the pandemic so that they can continue to support their members through this difficult time.
The Monash community has a strong reputation for looking out for others in difficult times. As part of the Community Connector program, Monash Council will also be reaching out to local community organisations and support agencies to partner with them on initiatives to bring the community together and support our residents through COVID-19.
For specific assistance for Seniors, a Social Support Hub has been set up at the Victorian Government’s Seniors Online website as a way to help stay connected and participate in social activities during the pandemic: visit Seniorsonline
You can find out what services and activities are available via the Hub. The Hub will be regularly updated with information and links to other community based organisations offering support and activities to older Victorians, including information about phone line support and local community connectors.