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  • Ellis Gelios

Peer Support Team Leader calls for more support for individuals suffering from physical disabilities

Katie Hammond, a Peer Support Team Leader and physical disability sufferer herself, has called on regional support networks to be vastly improved for regional Australians.

Speaking on the Flow FM Country Viewpoint program this week, Hammond said those living with physical disabilities were susceptible to worsening mental health because of a lack of sustainable support services in the regions.

“It's really difficult because the people, like we call rehabilitation meaning the ability to be able to get yourself back to what you were doing beforehand, that's what we see rehab is,” Hammond said.

“So when successful rehab is being able to get back to what you were doing - failure to fully rehab means that they haven't been supported properly, we haven't heard their goals properly or they're just not being able to give those opportunities to learn and grow in new ways, like learn and grow and understand new ways of doing things.

“I mean to be quite honest, the worst case scenario is when we look at some of these mental health crisis situations and we don't want people who can be supported to find themselves in such a situation, so we want to make sure that we are supporting everybody in those regional areas.”

Hammond, who states she is highly passionate in the disability support space, said she reflects on her own past struggles to educate newly injured individuals.

I have a spinal cord injury myself, I've spent many years sort of you know developing my own life and understanding what it is that it takes to be able to manage boundaries and expectations and moving forward with changing people's ideas about what disability could be,” Hammond said.

“But, with all of that information and I think maybe you could probably pick up, I'm a little bit passionate about what I do as well, I've been able to put that into my job as a Peer Support Officer at Spinal Life Australia and that role means that I share my lived experience every day with people who are newly injured.

“I can share that out in the community for people who are wanting more information and more ideas to be able to help enrich their own lives.”


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