Why is linking up so hard?

At work today I was pondering the reality that, on the hand, there are so many services provided by government and community organisations, and, on the other hand, there are so many people in desperate need of these services! How is it then that so often people in need do not have access to what can help them?

I have heard it said recently that our region is very poorly catered for in mental health services. There are actually over 100 different services available – most of them I hadn’t heard of before this week!

Another time I was working with small business people and became aware of their lack of knowledge of the plethora of services available to them by the government. We (the Department) actually funded a position for twelve months and his job was to go and visit small businesses in the region and raise their awareness of these services.

Sometimes there needs to be a person to advocate on behalf of others. Other times there needs to be someone who is a catalyst to making things come together. Another strategy, brokerage, is used by many governments today. What we have to watch is that the community “brokers” don’t start to behave like the bureacracies they are replacing.

Another strategy, and maybe one of the best, is the use of the internet to find the services you need. Which is all very well if you have a computer, the skills to use it and access to the internet.

Another dicothomy I see is the inbalance in material possessions. What is considered waste in our Western societies is considered luxury in Third World countries. We don’t even have to leave Australia to see the financial divide in our communities. Some people have so much while others struggle with so little.

I don’t have answers to these delimmas but it has got me thinking!

cheers for today

Lorraine

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