An early start saw some of the staff from the Hearing Voices Network of Western Australia (HVNWA) manning an interactive stand at the annual Graylands Men’s Health Event. Over a number of years HVNWA and Graylands have been partnering in a number of events and building a relationship that has seen many patients go on to seek support from HVNWA, so any opportunity we get to spread awareness of voice hearing and the Hearing Voices Approach is eagerly accepted.
Meticulously organised by Petra Elias and her colleagues, the events theme was one that was sure to appeal to many if not all men, “Pit stop” took in all things cars and cleverly connected it to aspects of men’s health. With stations such as “extractors” representing Bowel health, oil pressure representing health checks such as blood pressure and our own stand which was cleverly named “shock absorbers” which was focusing largely on Coping skills/strategies and peer support.
The morning kicked off with a beautiful welcome to country and the event officially opened with a green flag we were off………
Many patients and staff came through the numerous stations to get their tune ups and we were able to have some really useful conversations around coping skills and the benefits of having a comprehensive selection to choose from in times of distress or anxiety. As well as sharing lived experience we heard many inspiring stories of recovery full of ups and downs but overall the theme of resilience prevailed, with many people crediting their coping strategies with assisting them in their times of struggle. Sharing resources relating to the supports on offer through Richmond Wellbeing programmes including HVNWA, it was rewarding to hear that a number of people were already linked in with Richmond Wellbeing either through programmes or accommodation.
There is no better time than the present to start to consider what coping strategies may or may not work for you and the HVNWA has a really comprehensive resource that lists over 150 examples of things to utilise. This list is available for anyone to use personally or to share with those that they support, please let us know if you would like a copy.
The morning came to a close with a chequered flag and we were re fuelled with a healthy lunch shared by staff and patients. The whole morning was an excellent opportunity to make some great connections and to further increase the awareness of the HVNWA in the clinical setting.