Imagine living in a world without modern communication
How easy is it to communicate with people these days! You can ring from home landline, mobile, skype or message people from your smartphone or computer. I can even talk to my kids overseas in real time.
I remember when mobile phones were first introduced. I was on a chairlift in the snow and saw someone pull off to the side of the piste to talk on what was a comparatively large mobile phone.
I couldn’t believe why anyone would want to have a phone on the snow? Now, of course, nearly everyone has one, even on the snow.
I wonder if you can imagine what it might be like not to have access to a mobile phone, a landline or the internet at home. How would you communicate with the world?
Many of our clients struggle to maintain access to these tools of communication but some are just unable to do so. I currently have a number of clients who do not have access to a phone or the internet at home.
It makes it very difficult for these people to organise their lives and when they have serious issues which require regular and often urgent attention, it makes it even more difficult.
Imagine you have a mental illness which impacts on how you see the world and how you communicate with it. You might also suffer from a range of physical ailments that need regular medical attention. Imagine also that this combination of complex issues brings you into regular conflict with the system.
The only time we can communicate with clients like this is when they come to SJC, which they can only do from time to time.
This means that when we do meet, a longer than normal appointment is required. It also means that implementing plans is very slow, which often doesn’t fit into the fast-paced requirements of the modern world.
If things change in between visits or appointments have to be changed, it is just not possible to communicate this, often causing greater frustration for all parties.
We do have access to the Telstra Voucher Program which often enables us to assist people to stay connected.
With one particular client struggling with the above issues, we purchased a cheap mobile phone to assist her. I thought this was a great solution. However, for some reason, she is unable to get a signal in or around her house, so this is a work in progress.
The inability to have real time communication adds to the other difficulties and disadvantage that some of our clients experience. For most of us, we just take these communication tools for granted, but do spare a thought for those that do not have access to them.
SJC wish list this week: long life milk (very urgent need), cereal, poppers and soap
Stuart Davis-Meehan - SJC Director