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OCTOBER in the Pilbara Be You reflections and updates

October saw the Pilbara recognising World Mental Health day on the 10th but also celebrating and promoting positive mental health throughout, as October is Mental Health month.

Keeping our mind healthy is something we should do on a daily basis. It is an important part of your overall health to be able to function well, have meaningful social connections, positive self-esteem and the ability to cope with change.

There are a number of ways you can stay mentally healthy, including:

  • Keeping active and busy - with sport, art, music, gardening, volunteering and the like
  • Eating healthy
  • Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours each night)
  • Connecting with your community, family and friends
  • Talking about your feelings
  • Seeking professional help, if required.

The Pilbara Be You team attended and participated in a number of events that helps us stay mentally healthy, which involved staying active and busy while also connecting with community across the East and West Pilbara.

This month was a celebration of sport which saw nine Martu and Nyamal communities come together for a three day Youth Sport festival in Nullagine to represent their communities in football, softball and basketball games. Nullagine, Strelley, Warralong, Punmu, Kunawarritji, Kiwirrkurra, Parnngurr, Jigalong and Parnpajinya all had families attend the event and participate in the various competitions held.

Ngurra Kujungka did an amazing job organising the event and bringing together people from various communities while also coordinating support from other service providers in the region.

A fantastic event, full of fun and laughter. An enjoyable time had by all with a well earned congratulations to the 2020 Football Champions- Nullagine and to the 2020 Softball Champions- Punmu.

The celebrations and participation in events did not end here though, in Hedland Dom and Erica were busy engaging with community events including the Music Jam held by Headspace Pilbara during Mental Health Week.

The public were invited to come down South Hedland Town Square park grab an instruments available and play. Dom and Erica attended in support of the event, engaging with communities members and speaking about mental health and Be You.

Looks like a wonderful was had by all who attended the event held in Hedland.

Davina, Be You Consultant from Mawarnkarra Health Service held an event at Roebourne Pool to raise awareness of mental health, facilitating discussion, while also connecting with community through fun activities.

Davina had invited local services in the community to help support Mental Health week celebration and also distributed the pamphlet above at various locations inviting families along to the event.

The pool party was a success with Davina being able to engage with work colleagues and community members, discussing Be You and mental health more broadly.

Beyond these community events, the Pilbara Be You team has continued to have conversations with engaged schools about Be You implementation, developing Action Plans with these schools which are based on the identified strengths and needs of each individual school.

This month the Be You Consultants from the Pilbara and Kimberley teams also took part in the Be You Summit, joining staff from Beyond Blue, headspace and Early Childhood Australia, attending sessions to learn and discuss all things Be You.

Davina and Zenneth from Yura Yungi Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation in Halls Creek lead an amazingly movign Question and Answer session with Mikayla, an Aboriginal Educator from a school in Perth. Many in attendance noted this as the highlight of the summit as Mikayla spoke candidly about her life and experience as an Aboriginal Educator, with her experiences being guided by gentle questioning from both Davina and Zenneth, who acknowledged the importance of her journey being told, supporting her sentiments throughout the session.

The Pilbara and Kimberley team also facilitated a session with Be You Consultants as well as staff from Beyond Blue, headspace and Early Childhood Australia regarding the nature of using a place-based approach to support school, educator and community engagement and implementation of Be You. The session included a brainstorming session where participants shared their thoughts about 'what place-based means to them', below are the responses we captured from this session, which highlight the heart of the Be You Pilbara and Kimberley Project.

Should you wish to be be in contact with the Pilbara Be You consultants, please feel free to send an email to Dom (DomenicaM@wmhsac.com) or Erica (ericat@wmhsac.com) from Wirraka Maya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation in Hedland, Davina (PCSPO@mhs.org.au) from Mawarnkarra Health Service in Roebourne or Beck (Rebecca.Johnson@puntukurnu.com) from Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service in Newman.