I don't have an Old Mate
There are lots of ways to find new Old Mates who want company. Firstly if you're based in Queensland, Australia. We have a special partnership with Anglicare Southern Queensland who can directly pair you with Old Mates in their care network.
Otherwise, checkout the More Old Mates page. The organisations on this page can help connect you. Otherwise, ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they know an Old Mate. We've found that personal introductions are a great way to meet Old Mates.If you're still having trouble, Google local retirement villages or aged care facilities in your area. Many are often looking for volunteers.
Do I need to have mental health training to take part?
#OLDMATE is designed to help improve your Old Mate's mental health through fun activities that help increase their connectivity, fitness, self-esteem, capability and sense of purpose—all of which inherently improve mental health. It's not a clinical program, so no special training is needed.
If you do want to improve your own knowledge about mental health, then we recommend that you check out Mental Health First Aid's handy mental health guidelines. This isn't just great knowledge to have for #OLDMATE, but for life in general.
I think my Old Mate needs more mental health support
If you're not a mental health professional, you don't need to try to be. Leave that to the experts!
There are myriad mental health support networks across Australia (and the world). The first port of call should be to encourage your Old mate to visit their GP. Other than that, we recommend that you check out our Mental Health Support resources.
Why would you create a campaign that focuses on older people? They've lived their lives, why not focus on younger people?
We think this is an awful question, but unfortunately we're asked it, or some variation of it, a lot.
We believe that if we can improve anyone's mental health, then we should make as much effort to do so regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, etc.
It's as simple as that.
How does #OLDMATE intersect with the conversation about assisted dying?
#OLDMATE exists in a very different space to the assisted dying debate. Assisted dying is typically based around providing dignity and self-determination for those experiencing degenerative, incurable illness and pain. #OLDMATE is about improving wellbeing, connectivity, fitness, self-esteem, capability and sense of purpose.
#OLDMATE seems to be directed more towards supporting elderly men than women on those who identify as gender diverse?
Social isolation, poor mental health, and suicide are critical problems for everyone.
Although the rates of poor mental health are roughly the same between the sexes, men suicide up to 5x more than women. Therefore, there is a bias in tone and approach towards men.
Nevertheless, #OLDMATE is aimed at improving the mental wellbeing of all elderly people and we encourage those who have taken the pledge to seek out as many Old Mates as possible.
I have more questons!
Not problem, send us an email and we'll get to you ASAP.