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Helping vulnerable South Australians ‘navigate’ health and wellbeing

Helping vulnerable South Australians ‘navigate’ health and wellbeing

Chronic diseases have long-lasting persistent effects that often affect people socially and economically, as well as adversely impact well-being and quality of life. People experiencing homelessness are uniquely vulnerable because they often have multiple chronic health conditions.

However, not having a permanent house should not mean you cannot access health support from people who care.

Health Navigators is a new project that supports people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, who are also living with chronic health conditions.

The project is being undertaken as part of the Chronic Disease Integrated Partnership Grants Program, a Wellbeing SA initiative that supports improved health outcomes and experiences for people living with chronic conditions.

Through this project, volunteer nurses and health practitioners will work as ‘Health Navigators’ from our Inner City site. This involves building relationships with people in the WestCare community; and encouraging, coaching, befriending and empowering participants to manage their health conditions, so that they can experience the fullness of life.

Health Navigators will help participants design their own healthcare plans and assist them to access the care they need; ensuring their voices are heard and that their personal health priorities are being met.

The project will partner with other allied health services to help improve participant’s experiences and health outcomes. It will also create volunteer education materials emphasising mental health, addiction, disability and chronic condition management plans, safety and risk management that support this vulnerable cohort.

The pilot project will help lay essential groundwork for the future Health Centre, which will provide allied health services for vulnerable people at the Inner City site.

*This project is supported with funding from Wellbeing SA.