St George & Sutherland Shire Leader

Playgroup changing livesAdvertising Feature

HELPING HAND: The POPPY Supported Playgroup program gives mothers "a safe haven to forge friendships and engage with mental health workers to build coping strategies". Photo: supplied

We are wanting to expand our services to women affected by domestic violence

Before attending POPPY Playgroup at the Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre Jane (not her real name) was struggling with her mental health.

She had difficulties with being productive at work, engaging with her children and establishing and engaging in healthy relationships, as well as adapting to and coping with change. Although no one knew, Jane was a victim of domestic violence.

After attending POPPY on a regular basis, Jane could feel the improvement. Her anxiety had decreased and she was able to engage with her children. After speaking to Jane a few years later she said: "POPPY Playgroup saved my life".

According to the statistics, on average, more than half of the women seen in mental health settings are being, or have been, abused by their partner.

Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre CEO Anne Farah-Hill said: "The POPPY Supported Playgroup program gives mothers a safe haven to come to forge friendships, engage and work with mental health workers to build coping strategies and to participate in play with their young".

Ms Farah-Hill said POPPY has been supporting women affected by mental health challenges precipitated by domestic violence issues and/or post-natal depression since 2011 and provides an important service to the local community.

"We are wanting to expand our services to women affected by domestic violence in the future, with support from the government," she said.

If you are a mum experiencing domestic violence or mental health concerns or feel that you're not coping and are not able to engage with your child then you can call Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre and one of the qualified workers will be happy to help.

Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre is a locally managed organisation committed to identifying and responding to a range of community needs with special consideration for the socially, economically and linguistically disadvantaged.

As a not for profit organisation funded by a range of government agencies they hold no affiliations with either political parties or religious organisations and provide their service in a non-discriminatory manner.

The centre is at 30 Morgan Street, Kingsgrove. For more information call 9150 7823, email poppyplaygroup@kcac.org.au or visit their website at www.kcac.org.au.