More than two years have passed since locals lost their homes and were forced to boil their drinking water, however Tenterfield is still recovering from the aftermath of 2019’s fierce bushfires. Many are still putting the pieces back together and working through the trauma of these events.
A free upcoming Regrowth workshop next Wednesday, February 23, seeks to help the community work through the fallout of the bushfires and subsequent natural disasters, and learn how to prepare emotionally for similar threats.
“We’re bringing a range of services into one room,” said HealthWISE Mental Health Lived Experience Worker Donna Boughton. Support workers, service providers and financial counsellors will attend and there will be talks on financial hardship and managing anxiety and stress.
“We have the practical plans of preparing for bushfires, but we want to emotionally prepare for it too,” Donna said. She said it wasn’t about being pessimistic, simply being ready for any eventuality.
“If we feel in control and safe and have a plan within ourselves, we can better manage the more practical sides of things.”
Running from 9.30-2.30pm at Tenterfield Golf Club, service providers and financial assistance counsellors will be on hand to provide support. Event-goers will learn more about how their mind and body reacts to disasters, and ongoing effects that can take place months or even years later. The day will focus on how to cope with anxiety and stress, and preparing emotionally for unexpected disasters.
Participants will be invited to work on a collective art project on the theme of ‘putting the pieces back together’. HealthWISE nurses will offer free health checks.
Morning tea and lunch will be provided, and there will be a chance to relax and socialise. Farmgate, Tamworth Family Support Services, Centacare Youth, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and members of the HealthWISE nursing, mental health and Indigenous health teams are all expected to take part.
“It’s a combination of enjoying a social situation, being able to talk about and be aware of what’s going on within when we face disaster, managing it when we’re going through it, and finally, learning how to heal.” Donna said.
Numbers are limited, so locals are encouraged to register soon via Eventbrite or call Donna for more information on 0437 961 137.