We sat down with NCNS Aboriginal Worker, Bronwyn Nuttall, facilitator of the NCNS Steps to Healing Program to find out what it is all about.
What is Steps to Healing?
Steps to Healing is an open group program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people created to combine Western methodology with Aboriginal Culture to provide an evidence-informed program that is culturally appropriate and safe. Steps to Healing is facilitated by Aboriginal workers who are trained in mental health.
What does a session look like?
The sessions offer activities that focus on the present, mindfulness, metaphor, positive psychology, self-care, self-compassion, communication, relationships and Aboriginal Culture. Whilst the program encourages the development of new skills, it is offered within the context of social care and concern.
The concepts of neuroscience are explained to participants and these are not ‘dumbed down.’ It is immensely beneficial for people to understand how their brains and bodies work in response to stress, overwhelm, and trauma. Knowledge is power and we treat participants as intelligent people who have the capacity to learn, understand and integrate complex knowledge.
When asked how she would describe the group, Bronwyn replied “The group has a great vibe. Everyone talks about and shares the content. Last week, there was 2 ladies who were unable to attend the session and the other participants were able to explain to these ladies what they had missed and were even using the terminology used in Steps to Healing. It was as if they could almost run the program themselves and this made me so proud as it is clear that they are working the program to its full potential.”
What do participants think about Steps to Healing?
The 8 participants in the term 3 program have told us that the program has had both small and big impacts on themselves and their life. It has helped them to slow down and breathe. Their anxiety has reduced significantly. It has been especially great to see one of our participants who had extremely high levels of anxiety, be able to relax and is now able to better manage their anxiety.
Bronwyn told us, “The best thing about running this program is seeing the transformation in participants; seeing where they are when they first come in, and then watching them make positive changes in their life. I have had participants who have been at their worst, change, and grow over the 8 weeks, which is truly remarkable. This is why I love this program. Everyone who does this program, can relate to it somehow, even me.”
Bronwyn explained that the tools that the program has to offer you, she uses
herself, “The program keeps me in check and teaches me how to ‘drop the rope’. It teaches me about my emotions and it’s ok to sit in that, but for how long do we sit in it for? This is where we learn how to ‘ride the wave’. It also teaches me to be kind to myself.”
Since its introduction, there has been a lot of talk about Steps to Healing. The program has been received well, with a number of services asking about the program and how to refer to it. Steps to Healing has now been recognised through Mental Health Matters and received a highly commendable award.
NCNS will continue to deliver this Steps to Healing during term 4, running Thursday’s from 24th October to 12th December 2019. If you would like more information about this program please contact Bronwyn on 02 4706 0280/ 0439 455 139 or email email@example.com
Download the Steps to Healing Term 4 2019 flyer.