Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Program

The upper region of Bila Muuji funds the Social and Emotional Well-being Initiative that is auspiced by the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service (BAHS). This program services the communities of Brewarrina, Bourke, Orana Haven, Walgett and other smaller communities within these areas.

The SEWB approach is a broad concept that reflects Aboriginal holistic understanding of life and health. It includes cultural, spiritual and social wellbeing of the individual, family and community. This holistic concept also considers environmental, ideological, political, social, economic, mental and physical factors. Aboriginal people’s ill health will persist iIf these factors are not in harmony. This sector program encompasses the view of health and recognized particular issues of trauma and grief through removal from natural family, social injustice and loss of land and culture.

The current team consists of two counsellors (part time), two psychologists (part time). A female Family Health worker (domestic violence focus, full time) is located in Bourke. The Brewarrina and Walgett services also provide staff to assist part time counsellors and psychologists. The workers with local knowledge and experience have a huge impact on the success of the program.

The key aims of the SEWB program is to establish strong referral processes to all agencies and to provide regular services to these communities. The commencement of the support groups such as the ‘Strong Women, Strong Voice’ group in Brewarrina has grown in popularity and this model will be implemented in other communities in the next six months. This group consist of ‘yarning’ and ‘craft’ and breaking down some of the barriers that prevent clients attending counselling. After establishing rapport with these groups the SEWB program is able to develop structures for ongoing counselling.

Court support programs are strong with the assistance of the local magistrate in Bourke and Brewarrina with commitment to see offenders offered better support with counselling and psychology services and referrals to other agencies as needed.

The SEWB program has assisted in the Brewarrina, Bourke, Enngonia, Walgett and Collarenebri Women’s Health Checks. Each of these events has established links for the team in each community with referrals for counselling or psychological services. These assessments cover domestic violence, mental health and wellbeing.

The holistic approach in SEWB welcomes the Heal Your Life philosophies with an emphasis on ‘what you put out comes back to you’. By using positive affirmations within counselling through artwork and narratives is making such a difference in many clients’ lives. Its so positive and encouraging seeing the changes within the client’s life and the effects those positive changes have on their family as well.

The SEWB program is committed and is constantly growing and learning new ways to reach their clients and fulfilling their client’s potential. If you would like to make an appointment please contact the reception staff at BAHS.