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This long-running weekly program in Sydney's inner suburbs uses art therapy and group work to support Aboriginal women who experience mental illness.
Connections was established in 2001 by an Aboriginal mental health worker, and now takes place with the additional support of an art therapist as a program of Sydney's St Vincent's hospital.
Participants in the program meet weekly at the Pine Street Creative Arts Centre in the inner-Sydney suburb of Chippendale. The program offers women a culturally safe setting in which to express mutual support for mental health issues and to explore issues of Aboriginal identity.
The meetings also offer participants the opportunity to develop art skills through involvement in personal and collective art projects. These include individual paintings, group murals, and commissioned projects for clients such as hospitals and health agencies.
Transport and healthy lunches are provided to participants as part of the program. Program partners include Centrelink, Health Promotion (Living Strong), City Of Sydney Council, Work Ventures and the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence. Connections: Aboriginal Women's Art Therapy Group was a finalist in the 2012 NSW Aboriginal Health Awards.
Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract
Kaylene Simon and Yasemin Lockett
Connections: Aboriginal women's art therapy group
St Vincent's Hospital
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 8382 1111