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Push for injured workers group

Thursday, 23rd April, 2015

Sandy Richards and Linda Wilson having a cup of tea and discussing the need for a support group for people on Workers Compensation in the city. Sandy Richards and Linda Wilson having a cup of tea and discussing the need for a support group for people on Workers Compensation in the city.

By Emily Roberts

Lifeline is looking to start a Workers Compensation Support Group in the city.

Sandy Richards recently went to Lifeline to the discuss the possibility of starting it up.

Ms Richards volunteers with Lifeline Connect and thought the organisation would be able to help.

“We needed the backing of a government body - you couldn’t hold it in- house,” she said.

“Through NSW Workers Compensation Support Group they will provide training,” she said.

Ms Richards said there were many locals on workers compensation and it can be very difficult.

“Sometimes people aren’t aware of their rights and can benefit from face to face contact.

“It can be horrible. You can suffer from depression and anxiety.”

Ms Richards said meetings will be private and confidential.

“We don’t want people to feel they are being harassed.”

She hopes the support group will be able to get psychologists, doctors, physiotherapists and other specialists in to talk, as well as getting advice on financial support, pain management and referrals.

Lifeline’s Personal Counselling Coordinator, Garry Halliday, said support can help in many ways.

“For many this can be a lonely and upsetting experience,” he said.

The group will provide an opportunity to share experiences and to provide other group members with mutual support, Mr Halliday said.

If there is enough interest the group will start with training with assistance from the Injured Workers Support Network of NSW.

“The Support Network will send someone down from Sydney to give us training,” Mr Halliday said.

“We will develop an informal support group that will provide mutual support while discussing different aspects of workers compensation.

“It can be an awful place to be in - they are treated as if they are going to rip off the system.”

Mr Halliday said if they get enough interest they will set up the group.

Anybody who is interested in the idea may contact Mr Halliday on 0431 630 322.

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