Social- Emotional Wellbeing is the term that is applied to Mental Health workers such as counsellors in communities.

The Social Emotional Wellbeing team supports a range of workers in NSW, who work in the fields of Stolen Generations support and Bringing Them home, mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, and alcohol and other drugs (including residential rehabilitations). The core business of the WSU is to build and support a more stable and qualified Aboriginal SEWB and AOD workforce across various regions of NSW. It does this in three broad ways:

1. Promoting and facilitating networks and events which bring workers together, including

  • ADAN- The Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Network has over 100 members.
  • NARHDAN- NSW Aboriginal Residential Healing and Drug and Alcohol Network connects managers of the seven Residential Drug and Alcohol Healing Services in NSW.
  • Regional Forums- Four to five regional forums are held across NSW annually, connecting the workforce and partners. Bringing Them Home (BTH) forum- an annual forum that connects BTH and Link Up workers in NSW.
  • SEWB and AOD Managers forum are held every second year, funding permitting. Forty three managers attended the forum in 2015.
  • NSW Aboriginal Mental Health and Wellbeing Workers Forum. An annual forum organized by NSW Ministry of Health, the Local Health District and the WSU, attracting over 200 workers.

2. Delivering training and professional development opportunities including

The SEWB WSU has provided MI Train the Trainer and Peer Supervision Train the Trainer to a range of workers across NSW.

If you are interested in having any of the trainings conducted in your region or your organisation then please contact us here at the SEWB WSU, and we can arrange the training.

  • Introduction to Motivational Interviewing - 2 days
  • Peer Group Reflection (Supervision) - 2 days
  • Peer 1 on 1 Supervision - 3 days
  • IRIS - 2 days

3. Developing resources

  • Orientation Package- to assist new SEWB workers in their roles.
  • SuperVision Diary - features inspiring contributions from the workforce.
  • SuperVision DVD - aimed at Managers
  • Mental Health Month packs

This is only some of the work the SEWB WSU does. We also sit on various committees and co-ordinate policy information and advocacy on behalf of workers as a group, and can help provide information and support in tasks such as submission writing and event planning. We are here to be a resource to the workers of NSW. Should you need more information or support about anything in your role as a SEWB or AOD worker, just contact us here at the SEWB WSU: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Peer Supervision and Reflective Practice

SuperVision is a priority focus of the SEWB WSU. We offer Peer Group and one-on-one reflective practice training sessions using the Our Healing Ways model of practice, made possible through our partnership with the Victorian dual diagnosis unit.

The training educates workers on what the supervision model is and how it is used and builds confidence and experience in effectively using reflective practice, as well as building the skills to be an effective peer supervisor

The SEWB WSU has facilitated the training of several Peer Reflective practice trainers in NSW. Contact us if you are interested in organizing Peer Supervision and reflective practice training in your organisation or region.

Link to cultural model booklet Link to Supervision DVD excerpts

Indigenous Risk Impact Screening Tool (IRIS)

The Indigenous Risk Impact Screen (IRIS) is a screening tool that assesses clients on two factors, their alcohol and other drug usage and any mental health issues. The screen provides prompt information regarding the clients social and emotional health as well as possible treatment, referral and intervention or assessment pathways.

IRIS has been developed to assist in addressing recommendations in both state and national reports in 2006 which identified the need for such a tool. The program has since been rolled out nationally.

The screen has been validated as a culturally appropriate screening tool for working with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people and has been included in the Department of Health and Ageing Alcohol Treatment Guidelines for Indigenous Australians.

Site Exchange Program

The SEWB WSU offers sponsored site exchanges for eligible workers who are interested in visiting other organisations to promote skills development and build peer support networks for the SEWB and AOD workforce. The purpose of the site exchange program is:

  • Information sharing about SEWB, BTH , AOD and mental health programs
  • Opportunity for participants to observe how programs operate in other services/regions
  • Promote mutual learning and understanding between cultural and clinical work
  • Support the development of professional relationships and networks between the SEWB workforce Details
  • A sponsored site exchange visit held over two consecutive days between services with funded SEWB or AOD staff
  • The SEWB WSU funds travel and accommodation costs for participants.
  • CEO approval required for participation
  • Participants and host site are required to complete an evaluation form

An eligibility criterion applies. Please contact the SEWB WSU if you are interested in being a part of this program to see what we can do for you.

Annual Supervision Diary

The SEWB WSU produces an annual Supervision Diary, full of quotes from the workforce, artwork, inspirational stories and experiences of our workforce. We love getting photos, artworks, poems and narratives from the workforce about what you and your organisation have done, to include in the next diary! Contact us if you have anything you would like to publish in the diary, or would like to place your order now.

Orientation Package and Updates

In 2014, the SEWB WSU developed an Orientation Package for new SEWB/BTH workers in NSW. The Orientation Package is designed to orient the new worker in their role, understand their responsibilities, find resources of support and realise the rewards their position can provide for themselves, their clients and their communities.

It is recommended that someone with some knowledge of the sector present this orientation to the new worker. This could be the manager, another SEWB worker or a member of the SEWB WSU can also come and deliver the Orientation Package.

If you would like the SEWB WSU to deliver an Orientation Packages then contact us here at the AH&MRC.

Regular resource updates to the package are also sent out in our eNewsletter, Message Stick.

Link to orientation package and updates: Community events, writing a submission, self care, case notes, evaluation tools

Message Stick

Message Stick is the SEWB WSU eNewsletter that is sent out regularly, usually the first and third week of the month.

It contains regular SEWB WSU updates as well as other relevant information such as workforce updates and upcoming events. If you would like to subscribe, please go to:

(If you have subscribed to Message Stick, and havent received anything within a month, check your email spam/trash folder. If it is still empty, contact us.)

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