The Heal Program: Using Creative Therapies To Support The Mental Health Of Newly Arrived Adolescent Refugees In A School Setting, Where Life Is Happening.

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Authors: Jane Griffin, QLD

Year: 2010

Event: 2010 TheMHS Conference

Subject: refugee young people, arts psychotherapy, art therapy, music therapy, young people, adolescents

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 9780975765364

Abstract: The HEAL Program (Home of Expressive Arts in Learning) is a mental health service which implements multicultural best-practice in working towards improving resiliency, well-being and settlement for traumatised refugee adolescents. It is a unique, culturally responsive, early intervention program, situated permanently within Milpera State High School, targeting “at-risk” refugee young people using individual and group Music Therapy and Arts Psychotherapy. The creative therapies utilise drawing, singing, sculpting, song-writing, sand-play, and a variety of expressive modalities, to achieve therapeutic goals. This work aims to enhance understanding and allow exploration of past and present experience, and to offer a safe vehicle for emotional expression and for processing understanding about self-knowledge, assisting settlement in a new culture and enhancing availability for learning. The successful combination of creative methods and the school setting allow young people of forced migration to access assistance where and when life is happening, in a way they appreciate.

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