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Dunalley Community Builds Resilience

Tue, 30/08/2016

PIR funded the Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House to address community need by building capacity and resilience that is sustainable over the long term.

One project, Riding for Resilience, addressed the capacity of individuals to adapt and respond to change in a manner that is effective and allows them to come out of a period of change without negative consequences. People who had experienced trauma learned resilience skills that enabled them, especially children, to reawaken their inner capacity for having and enjoying ‘meaning making moments’. In consultation with community members, the local schools, council and other key stakeholders, the program focussed around community and family bike riding.  This program was open to all community members and with the inclusion of a trailer they are able to take the bikes to distant locations.

Another project, Getting it Back, assisted women with resilience and confidence to become horsewoman. This targeted disadvantaged women in the community who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing and focused on improving confidence, fitness and general health and mental well-being through social interactions, sharing personal experiences, and overcoming the challenges of horse riding.

A Wellness Expo gave the community access to a wide range of services, activities and information regarding good mental and physical health and wellbeing. The expo brought together services across a wide range, from health and education, sporting groups and social service providers.  PIR funding allowed for the Dunalley Tasman Neighbourhood House to engage service providers to speak at the expo on a range of issues relating to preventative care, how to access services, and what the early indicators are of someone struggling with situations which might adversely affect their mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Rob Gordon delivered workshops focussed on recovery after trauma, in particular focussing on the 2013 bushfires and the anniversary of the Port Arthur Massacre. There were three community sessions, a service provider’s session and a shorter follow up at the local Dunalley School to talk with teachers and support staff about behaviours of student post-trauma.

Young People’s workshops and support were also offered.  Seriously Smashed was a workshop to give young people the tools for coping with stressors in life without turning to drugs or alcohol. Angel’s Hope addressed bullying as an issue facing the young people in the Tasman community.  A need was identified for a quick and accessible tool to link in youth with the services they might need around mental health and wellbeing. A scroll pen, with a pull-out slider of services they can contact, can be easily carried and has a practical application, making it more likely for a young person to keep it in their pocket or bag.

Dooloomai Youth Camps are bush adventures for empowerment, connection and wellbeing. The camp targeted youth at risk youth or those struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.  The Lady Nelson is a tall sail ship, stationed out of Hobart. The second of the two youth camps consisted of a three day charter of the Lady Nelson.

The Movie Creations program provided children at the Dunalley Primary School with the tools to self-reflect and cope better with change. This program engaged young people at the school in the development of audio visual movies that capture their responses to the changes that have occurred at the school since the bushfires.