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New Yarning Circle to provide a safe space for Cherbourg community

November 13, 2020

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN continues to work with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) to help improve the health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the region.

Over the past few months, the PHN has been working with CRAICCHS in Cherbourg to improve support, education and cultural safety and understanding in the community.

To assist fostering this, the PHN and CRAICCHS have been working to open dialogue with the community to better understand barriers and opportunities within the local area with the view to resolve identified gaps and needs.

As a result, a Yarning Circle is being established to offer a safe space for community members to talk about what they are seeing in the area and to discuss their concerns. The Yarning Circle will also bring the community together to participate in activities. Once established, the first objective of the Yarning Circle will be to focus on healing and to commemorate the lives lost in the area to suicide.

“We are a small community so the Yarning Circle will provide a safe space for all of us to come together to share our stories, experience and feelings as one community,” CRAICCHS Acting CEO Katherine Simpson said.

“We will be able to make more connections within our community especially with our elders who can pass on their knowledge to younger members of the mob.”

CRAICCHS is also looking to provide regular healing space workshops to offer training to community members around suicide prevention and awareness. These healing spaces are dedicated to cultural healing practices aimed at providing longer term connection and healing opportunities.

The workshops are to be a centralised hub where those who are invested in reducing suicide and raising awareness can come together to learn ways to respond, connect and refer, as well as in the long term, provide an increase in community response and resilience.

“We appreciate and recognise the important work CRAICCHS is doing with the PHN to ensure the Cherbourg community is supported and provided with tools to build community connections and resilience,” PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt said.

The PHN is also developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy to better address the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout the Darling Downs and West Moreton region.

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