The CatholicCare NT team in Tennant Creek have a focus on community engagement and service integration. Over the past couple of months, there has been a bustle of activity supporting stakeholders with their programs and assisting at community events.
The Healthy Living Program, hosted by the Marlungku-Kari Child and Family Centre is one example of how CatholicCare in Tennant Creek are collaborating with stakeholders for the benefit of community members. Every fortnight, case managers from the Housing Support, Children & Parenting and Financial Wellbeing Counselling teams attend the Healthy Living session to support participants with budgeting and financial advice, cooking and parenting education and health and hygiene within the home and family. The ongoing success of this program is resulting in the possibility of it extending out to other communities in the Barkly.
For the Youth Mental Health Team (YaHMS), supporting school events has been another example of successful community collaboration.
To bring focus to the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence – Friday 19th March, Tennant Creek Primary School approached CatholicCare to ask for our assistance in facilitating some Chalk and Talk activities with the students. Chalk and Talk involves students using chalk to write positive affirmations or anti-bullying statements on the concrete areas around the school to raise awareness of the negative impacts of bullying. Mental Health youth workers and case managers facilitated several sessions with students from years 3 to 5 to talk about the negative aspects of bullying and the messages they could write and draw to bring awareness to their fellow students and teachers. Examples of statements that could be read around the school included “Bully Free Zone”, “words can hurt”, “think before you speak”.
It was a great outcome with 56 students and 14 teachers taking part in the event. In the end, CatholicCare staff had just as much fun as the students as they helped them to spell words and draw these important messages.