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Originally Published: https://paintedbrainacademyblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/improving-mental-health-outcomes-through-community-empowerment/
Australia has joined the fight for empowerment and reducing stigma in the mental health community! They’ve embarked on a three-year federally-funded pilot program in their community college system to utilize community mental health strategies to improve the lives of their students and to lessen the burden of chronic mental illness on the federal health budget. Most importantly, they seek to involve their students equally alongside mental health practitioners to create, design, and deliver the program with different development courses and other courses to better understand mental health issues. Some of their programs include the Absolutely Everybody Choir of the School of Hard Knocks, Moving Forward with Confidence group, and the Life Skills Express experiential learning program, all of which are designed to promote positive social skills and intergroup communication.
This new Recovery College defines their purpose as “strengthening mental health knowledge and understanding, as well as developing skills and passions for life that create pathways back into work, society and positive relationships with family and friends.” Much of this mental health work parallels what we do here at the Painted Brain. We seek to reduce the stigma of mental illness by doing art in a peer-led community space while enhancing intergroup communication.
Sounds like they’re doing some great work!