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The Resilience Project Recognised at 2023 Resilient Australia Awards for Community Mental Health Program

The 2023 Resilient Australia Awards were held this month at NSW Parliament House, where The Resilience Project was recognised as one of three finalists in the Mental Health and Wellbeing category for their 2022 Mid Coast project following bushfire and floods.

The Mid North coast community of NSW, was severely impacted by 2019 fires, COVID-19 and flooding in 2021. As such, The Resilience Project, Mission Australia and Mid Coast 4 kids came together through funding provided by the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) to support the community.

The Resilience Project (TRP) school partnership program provides evidence-based positive mental health programs to build resilience and happiness and strongly supports community resilience before, during and post natural disaster.

Kim Smiley, Head of Strategy and Development at The Resilience Project said “1 in 4 Primary students and 1 in 7 secondary students are suffering from mental ill health. Combine this with challenges experienced through natural disasters, and support for their mental health has never been more important.

“That's why The Resilience Project Partnered with Mission Australia and Mid Coast 4 Kids, through funding from the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network, to provide the School Partnership program to eight schools and six early learning centres (over 1200 students) across Mid Coast NSW in 2022.”

The project focuses on a whole school approach, working with all audiences of the school community (teachers, students, and parents) to proactively build capacity in their collective social and emotional wellbeing. The program provides strategies to cultivate positive emotion, specifically; Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM), with Emotional Literacy being a foundational skill to practicing these strategies.

The community has experienced positive changes as a result of the program. Educators have built capacity in mental health first aid, trauma informed practice and proactive positive mental health strategies.

The Awards, facilitated by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, were hosted by the NSW Reconstruction Authority, alongside the Hon Minister Dib and Hon Minister Scully, and recognise a wide range of initiatives with past projects centred on risk assessment and mitigation, mental health and wellbeing, education, training and research, and community engagement, as well as response and recovery.

The PHN congratulates The Resilience Project, Mission Australia and Mid Coast 4 Kids for this exceptional achievement and their ongoing work within the community.

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