Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Fri 4 Oct 2019



The Centralian advocate Fri 4 Oct 2019


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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Citation address


Page content

FRIDAY OCTOBER 4 2019 LIFESTYLE 39 V1 - CAVE01Z01MA MENTAL HEALTH WEEK Mental health matters at MHACA for all THE Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA) is a not for profit specialist mental health service provider. It has more than 27 years experience in providing mental health supports to Central Australian community members. MHACA offers a range of services which aim to facilitate wellness for a diverse range of individuals living with mental illness. These include psychosocial support services, NDIS support co-ordination and services, individual and groupbased supports, educational and training programs and a drop-in centre. All participants must be diagnosed with a mental health condition to access the service, and MHACA accepts referrals from a range of organisations and medical services. People can also self-refer. Recovery is a fundamental principle underpinning all MHACAs programs and services. The lived experience and insights of people with mental health issues and their families are at the heart of recoveryoriented culture. The concept of recovery was conceived by, and for, people living with mental health issues to describe their own experiences and journeys. This is to affirm their personal identity beyond the constraints of their diagnoses. MHACA supports a range of individuals in their own journey of recovery from mental illness. The Pathways To Recovery program provides a drop in centre, individual support services as well as group based activities. These include craft, dance, exercise, music, healthy cooking, the mens yarning group and the popular Hearing Voices group. Since 2016, 97 participants have been assisted through MHACAs Tenancy Support program. Most of the participants have either secured permanent housing or are safely accommodated while waiting to be housed. MHACA provides NDIS support co-ordination and has a NDIS Transition Team focused on assisting people with severe or persistent mental health challenges to make a NDIS application. In the Alice Springs community MHACAs Health Promotion Unit advocates for reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide. It also provides educational and training programs including Suicide Story (for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people only) Mental Health First Aid Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid safeTALK tailored modules for a range of industries that raise awareness and understanding of mental unwellness Community events and health promotion campaigns MHACA recently co-ordinated the community walk for World Suicide Prevention Day and helped organise the Suicide Prevention Forum in August as part of the Life Promotion Network. Each year for Mental Health Week MHACA organises a program of activities that encourages conversations in the community about mental health and to promote the support services that are available. Please note that MHACA is not a crisis response service and people with a mental health crisis are urged to call triple-0 or go to the Emergency Department at the Alice Springs Hospital on Gap Rd. For more information on MHACAs services contact info@mhaca.org.au or call 8950 4600. Participants are able to access a range of craft activities at MHACA. Picture: SUPPLIED ABOVE: MHACA has a community garden plot for staff and participants. LEFT: The Men's Yarning group meets on Thursdays at MHACA and does a range of activities. Pictures: SUPPLIED Artist; Dana Lynn Duncan Title; A Place Somewhere Mental Health starts where you live, learn, work and play eo@ntmhc.org.au | 8948 2246 Oct 7-12, 2019 Northern Territory Mental H ealth week