Resilience Building Program for Indigenous Job Seekers

Prof Ian Shochet Professor of Clinical Psychology, Queensland University of Technology will be presenting at the Long Term Unemployment Conference

“Introducing Horizon: Moving forward with resilience – A Resilience Building Program for Indigenous Job Seekers

The higher rates of mental illness and unemployment experienced by Indigenous Australians has prompted the development and implementation of an intervention aiming to promote mental health and job readiness for Indigenous job seekers.

Horizon Program

Moving forward with resilience is a strength-focused and resilience-based intervention that has been developed for Indigenous job seekers in rural New South Wales (NSW).  The development of this program has involved adaptation of the Resourceful Adolescent Program Indigenous supplement (Shochet, Hoge, & Wurfl, 2004), and the Promoting Adult Resilience program (Shochet, Wurfl, Hoge, Liossis, & Millear, 2007), in a partnership between Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation (MPREC), Indigenous community members, and key stakeholders in regional NSW.  Principles of Community Based Participatory Research have been at the core of the adaptation and program content was decided collaboratively with Indigenous communities.

The strength- focused and resilience-building approach of the program aligns with Indigenous perspectives of mental health and recognises the capacity for resilience demonstrated by Indigenous people who have faced great stress and trauma.  This approach is also consistent with the paradigm shift in mental health promotion that takes a salutagenic framework and emphasises psychological wellbeing. Furthermore, a strengths-based approach may be more widely disseminated and helps avoid the negative iatrogenic effects of stigma and disempowerment.

A pilot of the program in a number of regional NSW locations has progressed successfully, with high recruitment and retention rates.  Indigenous participants were interviewed about their experience of the program after its completion, and preliminary analysis of qualitative data supports the ecological and cultural validity of Horizon.  Participants reported enjoying the program and perceived important benefits in their day to day lives.  The processes for modifying this program have wider applicability for rural and remote communities in Australia.

About the presenters

“Professor Ian Shochet is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).  He has an international reputation in resilience research, developing  nationally and internationally recognised interventions that promote resilience.

Shochet is the founder and Director of the Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP) – a multifaceted resilience program for adolescents endorsed by the Commonwealth Government as an evidence-based intervention for preventing adolescent depression. RAP has been disseminated into 17 countries and translated into four languages.  Shochet has worked to implement RAP with population groups at greater risk for developing depression, including Indigenous communities.  He provides ongoing consultancy on national and international dissemination of RAP and associated resilience programs.  Professor Shochet is also regarded as a leader in the field of depression and promoting positive mental health.  His pioneering prospective research on interpersonal predictors of mental health problems focuses on the important role of school connectedness.

Mr Nick Power is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse having originally trained as a Registered Mental Nurse in the UK 25 years ago. He has worked clinically for most of this period and specialized in both Community Mental Health and the field of Substance Use. Nick also has a strong interest in the promotion of Indigenous Health.  For much of the last 10 years Nick has lived and worked in the Central and Far West of NSW. Over the last 4 years Nick has worked for the Murdi Paaki Regional Enterprise Corporation where he is the Manager of MP Health (Health Enhancement Service).  Nick is currently engaged in the delivery and ongoing development of the Horizon Program.

Indigenous Employment Programs
Indigenous Employment Programs

Indigenous employment – Resilience Building Program

This conference will address the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at risk groups: Disability, Mature Age, Youth, Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.  It will focus on “Building Capability” to create employment in the future with over 50 presentations on research, policy, programs and case studies.

Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference will be held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise. The 2 day conference will feature keynote presentations and 3-4 streams on long term unemployment issues, please click on the link for the Preliminary Program Released. For more information about the conference please visit the website www.longtermunemployment.org.au or call the conference secretariat on 61 7) 5502 2068. Reminder! Please note the Early Bird ends on the 7th July 2014. Register www.longtermunemployment.org.au

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