Hope For Healing is a 4-5 hour workshop for Aboriginal communities. It has been developed in consultation with Aboriginal communities and organisations, and this is ongoing. The purpose of this workshop is to begin yarning about suicide in a safe space. One of the many unique aspects about this workshop is that it is not delivered in a classroom with a power point presentation. It is delivered on country (often a significant site chosen by the community) in a yarning circle. The workshop can be tailored to the present needs of each individual community.
Regardless of their background, the Hope For Healing workshops is often the first time participants have had the opportunity to yarn openly about suicide. We believe that in order to prevent suicide, we need to yarn about it. This strengths-based workshop acknowledges the many strengths of Aboriginal people – strengths that aren’t always recognised or encouraged by society. These strengths are framed in multiple connections that are unique to Aboriginal people. By yarning about these, we have found participants connect or re-connect with them, and feel empowered to bring more of these to their own lives and their communities. Only after safety and acknowledgment of connections and strengths has been established, do we move to talking about ways to identify and support someone who is thinking about suicide. The workshop ends with a group healing activity. This is generally chosen by the organisation or community attending the workshop.
Hope For Healing is purposefully very flexible because we recognise that each community is different. In order for the community or organisation to get the most out of a workshop like this, they need to be involved. We are very welcoming and appreciative of input. This also highlights to community the importance of their involvement in suicide prevention activities.
Our Hope For Healing facilitators have a lived experience of suicide, and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, and pride themselves on being empathic, relatable, engaging, approachable and compassionate. This creates a safe space for yarning about a topic that most people find very difficult to talk about. This workshop is delivered by two trainers and we are able to provide training teams to suit the cultural needs of the community, e.g. men’s or women’s only training groups.