Authors: Biripi Aboriginal Medical Service (NSW)
Event: 2006 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NSW
Award level: Special Judges Award
Award category: Regional / Rural / Remote Programs
Abstract: Biripi aims to improve the health status of the Aboriginal communities in the Manning region through the implementing of appropriate medical care, mental health and disease preventative programs. To train Aboriginal people in the planning and provision of health care for their community. This service demonstrates a holistic approach towards mental health within the Aboriginal community. The dedication and professionalism of the Biripi Nambi Staff has partnered with the wider Manning Community with harmony and synergy leading to enhanced healing and advocacy for our consumers and extended families. This is highlighted by the following quote: “Healing requires that individuals, families, and communities have access to appropriate mental health and well - being programs. However, the sorrow and trauma will continue unless the underlying issues are addressed to allow Aboriginal people to achieve social justice and equal human rights” (ref The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement. Sept.1998.Vol. 1 No. 2 pp4). Description of Facility/Organisation: The Biripi AMS Nambi Social & Emotional Well - being Centre was officially opened on the 1st August 2002. This centre consists of a variety of specialised areas which endeavour to meet the needs of the local Aboriginal community. For example: 1 Aboriginal Drug & Alcohol Support Worker; 2 Aboriginal Mental Health Workers; 1 Psychiatrist; 1 Youth Health Worker; 1 Registered Psychologist (when needed). The above team utilise their combined specialist skills and expertise to address the complex social, emotional and spiritual needs of the Aboriginal Community. This is accomplished by identifying and prioritising the complex social issues within the Aboriginal Community of Taree, Forster and surrounding areas. Funding for the Biripi AMS Nambi Centre comes from a number of Commonwealth and State funding bodies. The ratio of this area service covers is approximately 25,000 square kilometres. Programs operating are: Aboriginal Women’s creative Arts and Craft to build rapport and trust; Stressless day for Biripi AMS; Koori Beginners Meeting – Fellowship of Alcoholic Anonymous age group 21 – 60; Men’s; Koori Explorers - to learn new skills and knowledge; Surfing program is an annual event target group 15 – 17 years.