THE Centre for Remote and Rural Mental Health is committed to addressing the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in rural and remote communities.
One of the ways we do this is through our Aboriginal suicide prevention workshop, called We-Yarn.
We-Yarn is a five-hour highly interactive suicide prevention workshop that has been developed in consultation with, and for, Aboriginal people.
This, culturally appropriate workshop aims to increase knowledge and reduce risk factors associated with Aboriginal suicide, focussing on holistic health. It also provides participants with the skills required to identify that someone may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, and how to provide support and encouragement to seek help. The centre recognises and value the importance of traditional approaches involving culture, connection to land, and the wellbeing of the whole community.
We-Yarn is always delivered by or co-facilitated with an Aboriginal person.
Earlier this year the Good SPACE team facilitated a We-Yarn workshop at The Wollotuka Institute at the University of Newcastle. Through its work, Wollotuka and the university more broadly, are recognised as leaders of Indigenous education in Australia.
According to academic and lecturer from The Wollotuka Institute Karen Menzies, the staff at Wollotuka appreciated having the opportunity to attend a workshop to talk about suicide prevention.
“Many of my colleagues have been impacted by losing partners, friends and family to suicide so it was particularly relevant to our faculty,” Karen said.
“Colleagues went away with a much greater sense of confidence in being able to identify risk factors and to also have conversations with people they have concerns about.
“It did hit the mark for a lot of my colleagues.
“Having a presenter courageous and brave enough to share her own lived experience with us also resonated with staff. It not only established credibility but created a safe space to openly talk about suicide.
“I encourage anyone out there in the community to take the opportunity to attend one of these workshops if the opportunity comes up,” she said.
For more information about workshops, follow on Facebook @crrmh.GoodSPACE or visit www.crrmh.com.au.