The Baroona healing program encompasses a number of important aspects including:
- A Cultural & Spiritual Base
- Personal Development
- Education & Training
- Healthy Lifestyle choices
- Traditional & Contemporary Healing opportunities
- Positive mentoring
Individual counseling sessions are available and group work is compulsory.
- Cultural & Spiritual Understanding
- Personal Development
- Education & Employment
- Healthy Lifestyle Choice
- Physical Health, and Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Cultural & Spiritual understanding
- Gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal history (colonisation, oppression, trans-generational trauma) and the impact of this on their social and emotional wellbeing.
- Identify links and strengths within their own community, including family connections, supportive networks, etc.
- Gain a deeper understanding of who they are: family, culture, community, etc.
- Building cultural knowledge and understanding.
- Promote behaviour change when back in their own community.
- Create an interest in art and cultural activities, storytelling, language, and spiritual beliefs.
- Encourage changed attitudes, and a positive outlook on life
- Build respect for themselves, and others, particularly women and Elders
- Develop skills to entertain themselves
- Develop skills for diversion and identifying triggers for avoiding situations that are likely to place them at risk
- Instill basic values including respect and trust
- Provide education about what a family is all about
- Develop life skills including confidence, communication, hygiene, cooking and nutrition, and budgeting
- Develop the ability to reflect on the impact of their behaviours on others
- Ability to gain more self-control over situations
- Address legal issues and/or compliance with legal requirements
Education & Employment
- Build interest in undertaking further education or gaining employment
- Improve literacy and numeracy skills
- Link young people to the local school and TAFE, if resident at Baroona for more than 4 weeks
- Develop skills to prepare them for work, including land care, horticultural skills, numeracy, etc
- Provide information about trades and other job opportunities
Healthy Lifestyle Choice
- Abstain from alcohol and drugs
- Empower to make informed decisions
- Develop knowledge of harm minimisation and risk management, such as responsible use of A&D and how these can get you into trouble
- Learnt relapse prevention strategies
- Encourage behaviour change
- Develop skills to build and maintain healthy relationships
- Develop the ability to identify risks and triggers in their lives that lead to substance abuse and inappropriate behaviours
Physical health and social and emotional wellbeing
- A holistic approach to health and wellbeing
- Develop regular living patterns (sleep, meals, hygiene, etc)
- Address health issues and linked to services
- Support smoking cessation (QUIT)
- Encourage interest in participating in health and fitness activities, including the gym in the Warma Fitness Centre
- Improved management of problematic emotional stress
- Linked to mental health service
- Reduced self-harming behaviours
The Residential Program
While residing at Baroona, young people have access to a range of programs and services:
- Counselling therapy (1:1 and group) including process counselling, manual therapy and D&A Counselling
- A nutrition program run by the Baroona naturopath
- Structured programs such as the Bullroarer program, Jekora program, Art Therapy program, Smoking Cessation (QUIT), etc.
- Cultural awareness studies, including connection to country, song and dance, ceremonies, etc.
- Recreational activities such as access to the Warma Fitness Centre gym program, participation in local team sports, etc.
- Mentoring and role modelling of healthy life styles and healthy relationships
- Harm minimisation
- Respectful relationships
- Sexual health
- Skills development and education, including:
- Life skills related to activities of daily living: cleaning, cooking, washing
- Employment and education readiness skills
- Short courses to develop work skills e.g. fencing, chain-sawing etc
Traditional & Contemporary Healing Ways
Aboriginal cultural ways, cultural safety and healing are fundamental to the model of care and program design. In particular:
- Baroona has policy of employing Aboriginal people to work at Baroona
- The Baroona programs include extensive use of ceremony and rituals e.g. welcome, leaving and celebration of milestones and healing goals
- Each young person has an individual Healing Plan detailing their individual healing and recovery goals, and outlining how the program will support the young person to achieve these goals
- The weekly program includes information, cultural activities and discussions about cultural artefacts
- All young people living at Baroona are expected to participate in the Bullroarer and Jekora programs
- Elders and respected community members are engaged in the weekly program
- Teaching on Baroona land and learning about ‘country’ are part of the Baroona program
- Cultural leadership is provided by Baroona staff, the Njernda Cultural Officer, Njernda staff and Board, Elders and respected Tradition Owners
- Baroona residents are expected to participate in local community events, such as NAIDOC, community BBQs, the Koorie Nite Market, and Football and Netball Carnivals, etc
- Baroona maintains strong collaborative linkages with the Aboriginal communities across Victoria through Njernda’s involvement on VACCHO and through personal connections with Aboriginal families and communities, etc