Tag a Mate, Take a Break
A project making social connection the focus of recovery from drought
In 2019, Bridges was fortunate to receive a grant from Tackling Regional Adversity through Integrated Care (TRAIC) to support a project that targeted people in the North Burnett region to come together after difficult years facing floods and then severe drought. The goals of the project were to:
Bring the community together to promote and reignite social connections and provide time for self-care and stress relief
Increase awareness of signs and symptoms of mental health problems and provide information on support services available
Encourage people to prioritise mental health and wellbeing, and to seek help when needed
There were 3 initiatives under the project Tag a Mate, Take a Break. The first was a wellness event for men, where they nominated a mate who had been through difficult times and could use a break. These men were then supported to attend a weekend of fishing at Hervey Bay along with a dinner with special guest Shane Webcke who shared his mental health journey.
The events for women were hosted in the communities of Monto and Mundubbera with skills arts facilitators Margi Brown Ash and Edwina Shaw who ran workshops focused on creative expression through story and visual art. Hannah Reed taught salsa dancing and Cynthia Hoogstraten ran a drumming session.
The final outcome was a series of digital resources around self-care and wellbeing. These are available on our YouTube channel, exploring the themes of mindfulness, the mood prism, PTSD and Smiling Minds.
What participants said:
“I got to see various connections and friendships and what mateship looks like. I hope you all have mateship. If you don’t, you need it. For some of these guys, it saved their life.”
“Loved the day. Felt it was a safe place to open up… [The] Vision Board will be added to our family vision board at home. Thank you for visiting our region.”
“I adored the weekend, really truly did… the women we met changed me in ways I would not have thought. I saw such resilience, I saw strength, I saw their ability to turn adversity into something just was. We laughed, cried and danced.” (facilitator)
Power in Numbers