Authors: Deb Bowman, Chris Ardler and Sonia Butler, NSW
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: aboriginal communities, 2015 Conference Book of Proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Shoalhaven Aboriginal communities have suffered transgenerational grief, loss and trauma for over 200 years, resulting in high prevalence of social and emotional wellbeing problems. Responding effectively requires recognising history and rebuilding culture and identity, acknowledging the importance of the extended Aboriginal family and of men’s and women’s business. The Shoalhaven Aboriginal Mental Health Respite Care Service’s Healing House model responds to the needs of those who are on their own healing journey and the families who care for them. It aims to build on strengths and promote healing. Programs include cultural programs as well as carer support, respite and educational programs. Showing respect for Aboriginal people, providing holistic support, and acknowledging the ways that Aboriginal people access services ensures that programs are culturally safe and attractive. This paper describes the Healing House model, identifies the strategies that make it culturally appropriate, and provides some evidence that it is effective.