Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi

'Doing Good Work with Families'

It has been a very busy for the Family Mental Health Team! Firstly the team would like to welcome Sylvana Marks from Finke as the new Family Mental Health Community Worker. We are excited to have her as part of the team. Sylvana has been working closely with NPY Women’s Council’s Youth Worker, John Bath to assist young people and their families in Finke to go to boarding school and feel strong, happy and confident.

The whole team participated in a workshop ran by the Australian Childhood Foundation on ‘Growing Up Safe and Strong Children’. The workshop talked about how violence affects children and how to grow up kids in a safe and strong way.

We all want the best for our children. Waltja’s Family Mental Health program helps young people and their families. It links up with service providers on community and in Alice Springs.

We make sure we provide a service that is culturally appropriate and respectful. In Finke the Waltja workers with John from NPY held a BBQ and fun day at the Rec Hall for young people and families. Thank you John for being a great support for Waltja and young people in Finke!

Charles Tako, from Waltja said, “I am very happy to be a Family Mental Health Worker with Waltja. The Waltja family – Directors, workers, and managers, help me and encourage me to do good work. On the communities people look after me and help me like my mother, my grandfather, my sister would care for me.

I choose to work in Family Mental Health because I believe in the benefits of sharing and support for families to support their kids. Waltja supports the families to support the kids and we follow up with the kids too. We don’t force people to change but we give them ideas and help them to choose good ways for themselves.

It is important to share ideas with families and community, to learn more about other cultures, to respect and love each other, to avoid discrimination, not to abuse, and to work together as one. Don’t be lonely! If you keep silent about your worries, things won’t get better. If you can talk to other people, you will get more help.”

In Titjikala Jeanette, Charlie and Cynthia took young girls out on country to Siding Dam collecting bush tucker, cooking roo tail. They encouraged the young women to talk up about any worries they may have. Waltja staff talked about how the program will support them.

If you have any worries for young people in your community please come and speak with Rachel, Charles, Jeanette (Titjikala), Matthew (Santa Teresa) or Sylvana (Finke). Or call Waltja on 89534488 and ask for Cynthia.

Working in Family Mental Health can be challenging at times but it is most rewarding when you see families coming together to support each other and their children.

Waltja’s Medtal health pronject funded by the Department of Social Services