New growth in the face of trauma was the focus of a free bushfire recovery workshop held at Tenterfield Golf Club last week.
Organized by HealthWISE with funding from the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN), the Regrowth workshop brought together community members and service providers to share their stories and learn how mind and body are affected by disasters.
“I came here to Tenterfield today to talk about the importance of telling your story – the power of storytelling, and the importance of asking for help,” said Farm Gate Support Advisor Lucy Gallagher. Schedule.
As a sheep and cattle farmer from Tamworth, Lucy remembers years of battling drought.
Scott Wood of HNECC PHN acknowledged that rural communities have endured many hardships in recent years.
“Before the bushfires there were droughts, then there were also floods, and of course with COVID-19, so it’s disaster after disaster. It’s quite easy to put bushfires on the back burner with everything that’s going on, but the effect it had on communities then, and even now, is real,” he said.
He said the workshops aimed to build community resilience by improving the skills of service providers and community leaders.
The event focused on working through the mental and emotional fallout of the 2019 bushfires and learning how to prepare for unexpected disasters.
Speakers spoke about financial hardship and dealing with anxiety and stress.
Support workers, service providers and Lifeline services were available to provide same-day support, and HealthWISE nurses performed free health checks.
Participants were invited to take part in a collective art project, decorating puzzle pieces under the theme of ‘putting the pieces together’.
The Tenterfield event was part of a series of bushfire recovery workshops held in the area.
The next Regrowth workshop will take place in Inverell on March 23rd. Visit www.healthwise.org.au to find out more.