Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Wurrimiyanga's (Nguiu) holistic approach to mental health

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Are you still hearing voices? Are they talking to you?

This is why you come here. Do you have medication? Mental illness is a big issue in our society

especially if you live in remote communities like Nguiu on Bathurst Island, in the Arafura

sea. Take tablets

Every night Tablets for voices?

For Voices In early 2000 the area recorded 10 times the

national average rate of suicides. In response to this the community developed

a home-grown health initiative. Instead of talking about the sickness we are

trying have this place talk about good mental health, see how its going to help our people

get well. They came up with the wellbeing centre based

on a philosophy that provides a combination of modern and traditional knowledge.

Its going to help our people get well and help them take their medication to stay strong.

And while youre here youll have your flu shot.

Julie, a clinical nurse, and Cathy a local health worker, have high hopes for this new

centre. It was set up to de-stigmatise mental health

in the community to make it more accessible but also look at it before it becomes a problem,

so its also a preventative strategy. What keeps you strong? What makes you strong

in yourself? Key to that strategy is getting clients to

talk about their feelings. Can you point to the picture that keeps you

strong? Out bush.

Do you walk around? To country it makes you feel good connecting with the land and the

sea. And thats exactly what Lizzie, another

health worker from the centre, has planned for today.

Im taking them out to the bush to help them feel better.

Charlene, who suffers from schizophrenia and depression, often feels lonely and confused.

They forgot what they used to do. You know, get them back on track again.

Come on Across town, Danny another health worker,

is picking up the men who are off for day at the beach.

Bush is like a medicine eh, medicine good medicine for us, You know we feel good good

about the bush like freedom, you know. A freedom that comes from being out in bush

with friends, doing what they love most. The men are going fishing. And the women are looking

for natural dyes for basket weaving. We looking for the dye for the pandanus its

a root. When Im at home I feel sleepy, but whenever

[Im in] the bush, I feel all right. You smell the bushes nice come out, yeah.

For the men, just being out here is making all the difference.

When Im in the community I feel terrible. But out here Im hearing the wind and not

voices in my head. And as they begin to concentrate on fishing,

the voices grow quiet and disappear. What weve been seeing and hearing from

our clients is they feel better coming out and it makes our program more easy, understanding

them. Im happy

Meanwhile at the well being centre, clients drop in to be treated in a relaxed home like

environment. It breaks down that stigma of it being an

illness so its a much more friendly environment, they can have a cup of tea and relax while

theyre doing this. If we can do it here it makes it less stressful for them. It also

gives the opportunity for the health workers to have a more informal assessment completed.

They find it much easier. And this holistic care extends to home visits

for patients who cant make it to the centre. We are trying, I suppose, to take the stigma

away from mental health being an illness so that it gives people a better understanding

that its just part of who they are and that it can be managed in a lot of ways rather

than a medical model. Today, Julies visiting Crystal to monitor

her ongoing recovery and medication. Is it ok if we come in?

Yeah just come in. So we just want to check how things were going?

Yeah been going ok. Are you back on that medication?

Yes I am back on the medication. Im not suicidal or anything like that. But sometimes

when you are in depression you have those feelings of suicide and sometimes when you

miss out on medication never miss out on medication because it is very, very, very bad if you

do. Mental health is a really important part of

someones life. And I think thats what this clinic does.

Charlenes finally made it to the beach, and with the billy boiling, Cathy uses the

relaxed atmosphere to run her unique counseling sessions.

So whats on your mind today? We alright here good thing to remember.

It brings back a lot of good memories for Charlene when she was a child.

At days end the men havent caught any fish but their spirits are high again.

Its all part of a recovery for our clients For Charlene its been both a day of connecting

with friends in the bush and an important opportunity to talk about things that matter.

The Description of Wurrimiyanga's (Nguiu) holistic approach to mental health