While I was soaking in the amazing information and examples of emerging practice, and meeting up with colleagues old and new at the National Rural Health Conference in April, back in the Central Highlands, trained community volunteers in the Mental Wellbeing Hubs were delivering Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW) workshops.
The Mental Wellbeing Hubs project is funded by the Queensland Mental Health Commission, and aims to build capacity in communities to understand and identify what exists in their community that creates happiness and wellbeing – and then support them to create more of those things.
As one workshop participant said:
“It gave me the opportunity to go out and enjoy some time away from home and also to think about what I’m grateful for. “
Another said that the workshop reconfirmed:
“that true gratefulness triggers deep emotion. I am so happy with today I want to cry!”
The project is using a ‘community of practice’ model to provide an environment for capacity building with a desired outcome that these Hubs can be maintained without the need for ongoing funding. The emphasis is on localities where there are fewer services, with the aim that the community is still able to identify and tap into resources and supports despite the lack of an overt ‘service provider presence’.
Carmel’s paper at the 14th National Rural Health Conference gives more information on the rationale behind the project (http://www.ruralhealth.org.au/14nrhc/program/concurrent-speakers)