Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

Waltja’s Family Mental Health team work in Finke, Santa Teresa and Titjikala to help families who are worried for their children and teenagers. Young people might have problems and get upset or depressed or angry and they might stop going to school.

Waltja workers always listen to young people and to their families. One young fella wouldn’t go outside his house and wouldn’t go to school, he was sad and lonely, and everybody was worried about him. Waltja workers kept visiting and encouraging him to go out and helped him to get his confidence back. Soon he was going to school all by himself and now he is not shutting himself away anymore and is doing really well at school.

Waltja’s Family Mental Health Team work closely with other community services like the school, childcare, clinic, youth programs and sport and recreation workers.

Workers talk with families and help them when young ones are having trouble. They hold community events to get people talking together about good ways to help children and teenagers stay strong and how to deal with problems in a good way.

Working together they help families to understand how teasing and fighting, using alcohol and drugs, and money worries can affect mental health. Bush trips can be organized to take families out together so that elders and parents and kids can relax and talk together away from the community. Waltja help young people to keep going to school, on community or we can help if they go away to boarding school.

In Titjikala, Jeanette Ungwanaka is the Community Family Mental Health Worker. In Santa Teresa, Matthew Alice is the community worker and Anne-Marie McMillan also does some casual work. In Apatula, Clarissa Young is the community worker. If you are worried for your children or young people, talk to Waltja workers on your community or ring up the Waltja office on 08 8953 4488.

The Family Mental Health Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services