Authors: Michelle O’Neill, Marie Panebianco
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, Healing And Recovery, Suicide prevention, RURAL, YOUNG PEOPLE, Family/Carer/Friend Group
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to describe this innovative pilot educational program, its effective application and the benefits to a rural community. The objectives include the importance of adapting programs to suit the community and environment. To assist rural and other mental health care organisations address local issues, utilising existing resources in their community.
The key components to be discussed include a description of the Survivor! program, both the Young Persons Group and the Family/Carer/Friend Group, including the program’s origin, content, and an explanation of the need for a social focus when providing psychoeducation to this rural target population.
Surviving a mental illness in a rural environment requires additional support, with changes needed when adapting an educational group program from a metropolitan view to that in the country. These include addressing the issues of isolation, both personal and of location; stigma in a small town; and the need for educational resources (for the individual, the family and the community).
In summary, offering a program like Survivor! to young people and their family/carers/friends enables participants to increase their knowledge and share their experience in a safe environment in their own community.