Pilot Community Connection Program with the RBWH



Group 61 Inc. ) is an incorporated volunteer organisation which enables fullness of life through friendship with people affected by mental health issues.

People being supported are referred to as Friends because that is how they are treated and that is what they become.

Through friendship comes understanding.

From the volunteer – Friend relationship comes empowerment, which brings fullness of life and the achievement of personal potential.

Group 61 currently operates from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast as far west as Ipswich.

Innovation Fund 2014/2015

Group61 has been called to collaborate with other voluntary organizations to work on Partners in Recovery’s innovation fund 2014/2015 project which was just launched last month. In a recent interview, Paul Martin of Partners in Recovery had a brief discussion with Sharon Munn and Julie Richardson of Group61 about our organization’s general background, our main purpose and the different objectives that we intend to achieve. For further information, watch the vodcast of this interview in the video provided below.


Pilot Community Connection Program with the RBWH

This six month pilot program, commencing 1st October, 2014 will provide a visitation program, access to our existing service and warm-line support to inpatients living in the northern metropolitan areas of Brisbane at the critical hospital to home transition.

Twenty-eight enthusiastic volunteers are eagerly waiting to connect with the RBWH inpatients and are preparing an activity program in conjunction with the staff. Visits to the wards will begin on 15 October.

Mobile Phone Connection  

Once the RBWH pilot program is underway volunteers will be supplied with a Telstra mobile phone to enable them to make direct contact with their Program Area Coordinator and the inpatient (potential friend) once he/ she transitions to home. These are closed network mobile phones for use in the RBWH Pilot Community Connection Program exclusively. Friends will only be able to call their volunteer. Telstra will also provide mobile phone induction to the inpatients.

Mental Health First Aid Training Course  

The first Mental Health First Aid Training Course was held on the 13th & 14th of September. The event was a resounding success with good attendance. Our lively and informative presenter, Amanda Morris, kept everyone interested and involved. This is an excellent course which provides skills for supporting people who are struggling with mental health issues and encouraging them to seek professional help.  

If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer their time to assist with this exciting program please phone Group61’s office

3367 8674 or email for more information.

Safelink Mentoring Tenant Project

Several tenants, who would benefit from volunteer assistance, have been identified for inclusion in The Safelink Tenant Mentoring Project. Three volunteers have signed up for the program and one more is needed. One of the Safelink volunteers is also working on the RBWH program and, to encourage the integration of our programs, Andy Denniss and Jodie Mears from Churches of Christ Care attended the September volunteer network meeting to speak to our volunteers about the Safelink program.  Every effort is being made to coordinate all Group61 projects to facilitate service delivery and we are advertising widely for volunteers. If you would like to participate in the Safelink Mentoring Tenant Project or the Pilot Community Connection Program with the RBWH please contact Julie Richardson at Group61’s office 07 3367 8674 to register your interest.




Group 61 is a volunteer organisation and its services are free.

The Group 61 Training Course equips volunteers to deal with issues that may arise in the volunteer - Friend relationship. It gives a grounding in listening skills and an appreciation of mental illness and mental health.

The training course is designed to train volunteers but is also open to the Friends being supported and anyone from the community who wants to support more effectively a person with mental health issues.

Once a month volunteers meet to support and share in confidence with one another.


  • Please donate here via our page at Everyday Hero.


  • For Direct Deposit Donations
    Please use the following details:

    Bank: Westpac Stafford
    A/c Name: Group 61 Inc.
    BSB: 034 054
    A/c No.: 254482


Support generally takes the form of:

  1. A weekly morning or afternoon outing of a volunteer and a Friend each week in a park, by the sea or at a coffee shop.  This is a fixed volunteer—Friend relationship.
  2. There are also cluster groups of a few volunteers and a number of Friendswho meet and have their outing as a group each week.
  3. Group BBQs are held every second month.  
  4. Good nutrition, exercise, meaningful activity and cultural interests are all encouraged. 
  5. Friends are also encouraged to foster a number of regular personal friendships in addition to the Group 61 volunteer.

Group 61 provides support to members of our community who have mental health issues.  We know there are many others who would benefit from a connection with us.

In 2007, almost half (45%) of Australians aged 16 – 85 years had experienced a mental disorder at some point in their lifetime.  People with mental illness may be unable to fully participate in the community because of difficulties they face in everyday functioning and may have difficulty in developing relationships because of this.  They are also more likely to be living by themselves.*
*ABS Social Trends 4102.0 2009

Positive social support has been found to be helpful for people in not developing mental health issues, managing stress and maintain good mental health.

  • We would like to extend our services.
  • Additional resources are required to do this.

If you can assist in any way please contact us here

As we are non-Government supported, we appreciate any donations.


The objects of the group are:

  • To enhance the quality of life of people affected by mental health issues living in the community
  • To walk beside them in their life journey
  • To encourage wellbeing as central to sound mental health
  • To raise awareness of mental health issues in the community