CWA organisations around the country are often breaking down the characterisation of the CWA, stating that we are "more than tea and scones".
And indeed we are.
For example, here at the CWA of NSW every year we run an Awareness Week campaign, choosing a current and pressing topic to take action on in our community, whilst also raising awareness of the work and the network, of the CWA itself.
This year, we are harnessing our well-known inclination towards bringing people together with morning or afternoon tea, and inviting our communities to start a "sconversation".
What is a sconversation?
The term hasn't quite made it into the Oxford English Dictionary just yet, but it has a very straightforward meaning.
It's simply a conversation, and it can be accompanied by refreshments.
We like scones because they require very few ingredients to make, and whilst most people will have their own spin on it, they're very inclusive!
A sconversation takes place in a casual setting, and there aren't any expectations or objectives, it's about connecting and sharing.
Awareness Week 2019, running this week from September 1-8, addresses the issue of mental health awareness and support services in regional, rural and remote communities, particularly as they relate to women.
CWA of NSW branches around the state are holding sconversation events.
We've developed a recipe card with a scone recipe on one side, and with the help of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health and their Rural Adversity Mental Health Program, a "how are you going" guide on the other side.
It's a quick and handy reference to check in on how you are feeling, to assist people to check in on their own mental health, and that of others.
It's a recipe for connecting, and by doing this we aim to boost the mental wellbeing of regional community members.
Ongoing drought continues to be a major challenge in many areas of the state, presenting mental health implications in rural and regional areas.
For regional and rural NSW there are additional challenges in maintaining robust mental health, with geographical isolation impacting on everything from the assistance that is available to the diversity of activities offering social interaction and companionship.
For women on the land, there are often many hats they wear at any given time and during this unrelenting drought they may also be supporting a partner with mental health challenges of their own, and children, on whom drought also has an impact.
We want people to feel more confident to talk about mental health.
The sconversation has always been at the heart of our organisation and we want to share its power this Awareness Week.