South West Aboriginal Medical Service finalist in Mental Health Awards

The Kaat Darabiny team at South West Aboriginal Medical Service at the community BBQ held during Mental Health Week. Photo is supplied.
The Kaat Darabiny team at South West Aboriginal Medical Service at the community BBQ held during Mental Health Week. Photo is supplied.

The South West Aboriginal Medical Service are celebrating being named a finalist for the Even Keel Bipolar Support Association Diversity Award at the 2020 WA Mental Health Awards.

Finalists were announced during Mental Health Week earlier in October and aims to recognise organisations that make an outstanding contribution to mental health.

The medical service's mental health team, called Kaat Darabiny (What you thinking?) senior prevention worker Lisa Collard said they were excited about the announcement.

"We are excited and honored to be finalists for this award and very grateful that we are able to connect with and care for our wonderful local Aboriginal Community," she said.

The team have been busy with organising events for Mental Health Week which included a community BBQ.

There is also a new mental health space at the South West Aboriginal Medical Service Bunbury clinic which aims to give clients a comfortable space to have a good yarn or participate in group programs.

The team has also launched a new Tools in Schools Program for at risk children and teens.

"The Tools in Schools Program is especially designed to support and engage directly with students who are struggling emotionally or behaviorally," Ms Collard said.

"It is an early intervention program to give these kids tools and skills they need to deal with their emotions. We want to give them a safe place to have a yarn about their issues, feelings and let them know they have somewhere to go and someone to talk to."

This four-week program is delivered in one session per week.

The duration of each session is an hour long to fit into a typical student timetable and is delivered in small groups of no more than 10 students.

"So far, the response from schools and students has been very positive. The way the program is structured and delivered in small groups allows us to really connect with and empower the students," Ms Collard said.

This story Mental health recognition for SWAMS first appeared on Bunbury Mail.