The Mind Blank charity openly seeks out a collaborative approach to expand service offerings and help empower communities in need. An example of a community collaboration in application can be seen in with Mind Blank’s Northern Territory collaborations.
Why work in the Northern Territory? The Northern Territory has the highest suicide rates seen in Australia. The reality is that are some Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander communities can have young people who are up to eight times more at risk than their non-indigenous peers.
Since 2016 Mind Blank has worked with TeamHEALTH (Top End Mental Health provider) to host an annual mental health awareness tour. In this collaboration Mind Blank team to support training local community members through a peer support process. Young people with lived experience of mental health issues are invited to lead the process to develop scripts that they can relate to in order to capture a youth voice and focus on their current mental health concerns. Throughout the creative development process young people walk away from this program with practical application of skills to: identify mental health risk factors; stop and think about behaviour’s and choices; and support steps in order to know whereto seek help in a time of need.
Overall this collaboration is successful due to both organisation complementing each other’s services. Mind Blank has the ability to engage young people in a safe and creative manner. TeamHEALTH is able to then provide a social worker to support any students through trauma informed care, directly after a Mind Blank workshop. The peer support model allows for a knowledge transfer process empowering local community’s members with the skills they need to build on proactive community action steps.
During our annual collaboration we support Mind Blank working in schools in the Darwin,Palmerston, Katherine, and in rural/remote communities surrounding Kakadu National Park. Here is a highlight of the program so far:
In 2019 this collaboration was presented with the Mental Health Services Award for Mental Illness Prevention which received international recognition at the Brisbane Convention Centre.