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Members of the Northern Rivers community have benefited from two new programs being delivered by Interrelate across the region.

The ‘Me Too’ and Multi-cultural Women’s Group programs which started in May have just finished their final sessions for the year with great success.

Interrelate Area Manager Julie Leete said the ‘Me Too’ program aimed to improve the well-being of local carers of people who were depressed or suffering mental health issues.

“Feedback we have received from participants has been very positive and they have made some new friends. A couple of them said that they feel less alone in the world and actually feel hopeful now,” Ms Leete said.

The Multi-cultural Women’s Group was held monthly and aimed to improve the well-being of each participant though information, support, developing self-esteem and communication.

“This had great success with many of the women learning about the importance of feeling connected and spending time with others in the community. It was also a great opportunity for them to talk about their experiences with like-minded people,” Ms Leete said.

According to Ms Leete there was a demand for these courses, particularly in Kyogle and Casino.

“Carers and multi-cultural women in these towns lack access to local services so by taking the program to these locations we reduce the barrier of a lack of transport required to attend groups,” she said.

Data from the National Mental Health Strategy (2000) indicated that people in the Northern Rivers region experience poor mental health outcomes across the lifespan due to unresolved family issues, trauma, intergenerational and unemployment.

“An important way to reduce these barriers is through the delivery of early intervention groups for parents and care givers,” Ms Leete said.

“In addition, our research has identified that Aboriginal Elders have identified a need but the community cannot afford to pay for these courses. So we approached ETC for support and were thrilled when we were successful for a $5,000 grant.”

For more information about Interrelate visit www.interrelate.org.au

ETC Director Ian Preston said it was a pleasure to be able to support Interrelate.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Mr Preston said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.”



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