CatholicCare and the Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) have a seven year history of collaboration delivering psycho-education groups, support conversations (often solution focused brief interventions) and referrals for participants of the weekly Wednesday Men's Group.
The group, part of the AMS's Safety and Wellbeing Program, targets substance use, incarceration, domestic violence, employment, partnerships, healthy lifestyles, strong families and communities. In addition, the group allows participants to reduce fines owing through Work Development Orders, which allows for more healthy choices according to the AMS's Programs Evaluation Manager.
"The fact that the participants engage each week with the CatholicCare group worker/counsellor shows how important the collaboration is", said the Programs Evaluation Manager. "Participants and staff love the therapeutic input from CatholicCare including groups addressing techniques to manage stress, anxiety, depression, communication and anger," he said. "We are excited about our continued collaboration, in particular groups targeting parenting, mental health and wellbeing along with domestic violence."
Over the past two years CatholicCare has adapted programs (4-5 weeks each) to meet the group's evolving schedule which includes breakfast, a sharing circle/check-in, community news, sorry business, psycho-education group and outings. These CatholicCare programs include "Connections" which is mindfulness based, "Calm" which addresses improved communication skills and emotional awareness, as well as "Dad's" which looks at a father's role in their child's life and the importance of being child focussed.
In the last financial year CatholicCare attended the AMS Men's Group on a nearly weekly basis, running 26 psycho-education groups with a total of 413 group particpants and had 221 support conversations, totaling 634 occasions of service. This included CatholicCare attending a healing camp run by the AMS group's coordinators.