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Cedar Health Service addresses the health impacts of domestic and family violence

Cedar Health Service launch feature
WCHN News
Posted 29 Apr. 2022

The Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN) has strengthened its response to domestic and family violence with the launch of Cedar Health Service: Inclusive Domestic and Family Violence Healthcare.

The new service was formed through the amalgamation of the Multi-Agency Protection Service, Women’s Health Service and the Women’s Safety Strategy

“By bringing them together under one banner we’ve created a specialist healthcare service,” said Katrina Dee, Director of WCHN’s Youth and Women’s Safety and Wellbeing Division.

“For some time, our Health Network has supported women affected by DFV, but with this new service, we have expanded our remit to become truly inclusive, supporting the healthcare needs of victim/survivors regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

“That means that our service will be accessible to members of the LGBTIQ+ community as well as men who are experiencing DFV.”

Cedar Health Service offers multi-disciplinary care, providing a pathway for consumers to get the healthcare they need, which might otherwise be difficult to access.

“Intimate relationships that are unsafe and abusive impact on physical and psychological health,” Katrina said.

“This can include depression and anxiety, physical injuries, substance misuse and being prevented from having health checks.”

Cedar Health Service offers counselling with social workers, health checks with doctors and nurses, as well as culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and refugee/migrant communities.

Katrina said the service would also play an important role in supporting health professionals who encounter DFV victim/survivors in their daily work.

“SA Health policy requires doctors, nurses or allied health professionals to ask their clients or patient about domestic violence and its impact on health” she said.

“Our clinicians need to know what to do if someone discloses domestic and family violence during a consultation and Cedar Health Service can provide advice on how to best support their patients or clients.”

Anyone whose health is being impacted by domestic or family violence can speak to a nurse or social worker Monday to Friday (9am- 5pm) by calling 8444 0700. For 24-hour crisis care call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) and if you are in immediate danger call 000.