Street barbecues, walking programs and community support groups are being held in Merrifield in a bid to better connect residents and improve their wellbeing.

The programs are being run by DPV Health, the Oorja Foundation, BDS Support Services and the Royal Melbourne Hospital as part of the Merrifield Community Partnerships program.

The walking group – which is run by DPC Health – is open to people of all ages, while the Oorja Foundation has started a culturally diverse support group for residents of the estate.

BDS Support Services has launched a program to assist families of children with autism.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital, through the North West Area Mental Health Service (NWAMHS), will run its Connect 4 Wellbeing program in Merrifield over the next two years, helping residents connect with each other through street barbecues.

Hume wellness and recovery team manager Devorah Carrin said the NWAMHS was looking forward to the opportunities the new partnership will bring to the Merrifield community.

“Connect 4 Wellbeing is thrilled to work with both a developer which understands that a successful and happy community is more than just houses and roads, and residents who are excited about putting down roots and being part of something bigger than their block,” she said.

Merrifield community development manager Tennille Bradley-Ow said the new programs would help improve the health of Merrifield’s 3000 residents.

“Bringing these services to Merrifield at such an early stage allows us to meet the needs of a range of families, create important local connections and provide critical support services that they may have previously had to travel up to a half-hour to access,” she said.

Merrifield residents can find out more about the programs by downloading the My Merrifield app.