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inBalance newsletter

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Mental Health Association of Central Australia


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Date:2008-12; Dated: Jul.-Dec. 2008




Mental Health Services -- Australia, Central -- Periodicals; Aboriginal Australians -- Mental Health -- Periodicals

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Mental Health Association of Central Australia

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Alice Springs


no. 18

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54 (from previous page) Power On With the Womens Coffee Morning sessions ending earlier this year, I was pleased to hear of the Power On Program run by Womens Health West (WHW). Power On works within the western region of Melbourne in partnership with women and a range of organizations to meet the social, emotional and physical health needs of women in our communities. I found the talk about this program very inspiringand perhaps we can adopt the model to once again give women a forum to talk about their issues. Power On consists of a 12week program of 2-hour workshops delivered by a facilitator and peer educator to cover topics such as: Selfesteem, Assertiveness, Body image, Access to information, Communicating with your Health Professional, Menopause and your Menstrual Cycle, Nutrition and Healthy Weight, Positive thinking, Exercise and Wellbeing, and Relationships: Connecting with Others. Feedback from the women included: u the women feel like they matter u learning from others in the same boat is rewarding u women have a right to ask their GP to prepare a plan to help them u remembering that everyone has good qualities no matter how unwell they are. X The Bipolar Bears bringing down the house! An abstract book on the con- ference is available at MHACA. For further details or copies of session recordings on CD or MP3 visit the conference website www.margins2mainstream.com Pathways u Staying well as support workers: We recently did some training in Vicarious Trauma where we were all challenged to keep ourselves well both physically and mentallyas support workers. The course discussed how listening to others trauma can significantly affect workers, both physically and emotionally. We also identified and developed strategies for transforming the impact of vicarious trauma through effective participation in supervision and stress reduction techniques. u Financial difficulties can hinder a persons wellbeing and achievement potential. u Sometimes there is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish; the thing is to do as much as we can in the time that we have. Life Promotions u Advocating for open and honest dialogue about the current systems of support for people in a crisis of suicide. u Despite the alarming rates of suicide there is still a reluctance in society to openly discuss the issues around suicide prevention. This is no doubt affected by the lingering stigma around the tragedy of suicide. Breaking the silence and misunderstanding around this sensitive issue is difficult. Like all organisations there are activities which flow smoothly at MHACA and those which challenge us. We learn as much from what isnt working as from what does, by looking at the obstacles and being objective about what needs improving. Here we identify some of the hurdles we experience in our day-to-day programs: Bumps in the Road... Day to Day Living u Unexpected unplanned events: Broken toes, impromptu Commonwealth program evaluations and influenza are just some of the unplanned events that have broken our stride in program work. u Playing catch up with paperwork: the least exciting aspect of the work, and when it gets behind it assumes an inordinately large place in your mind, haranguing you until it is completed. Subacute u Helping to find accommodation for people is always an issue as Alice Springs has limited good, cheap, quiet options u Waiting times to see medical professionals is also a bump for us at times. Not only in the doctors waiting room when someone is unwell and not wanting to be there, but also the time it takes for follow up appointments with specialists can be frustrating for the people we work with and ourselves. Administration u Getting onto tradespeople and then getting them to come on schedule. u Waiting on the Change of Building Usage approvaland having to constantly ring people is wearing. u Suppliers not getting back to us; and having to constantly chase people to get things done. X Be yourself. There is no one better qualified.