Between 2006 and 2008 KBC was contracted to undertake a series of projects on behalf of the local Area Health Service (GWAHS) and OATSIH to explore the health-related findings emanating from the COAG Trial in the Murdi Paaki region of western NSW. As part of this work, we identified the priority areas for a health response in the region and then went on to develop up frameworks for intervention in 3 key areas:
- Social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and drug and alcohol (including the development of a model for a COAG-funded drug and alcohol service)
- Chronic disease across the lifecourse
- Family wellbeing
As a result of the Murdi Paaki Health Project, KBC was contracted to work with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle, to implement the Indigenous drug and alcohol service for the Murdi Paaki region (COAG funding $1.2m recurrent) using the framework developed during our initial work in the region. The service is currently operational and being evaluated.
A further outcome of our original work in the Murdi Paaki was the funding of an Indigenous Family Wellbeing Service in Coonamble in Western NSW. This service aims to foster family and community environments in Coonamble that promote wellbeing in Indigenous families and reduce the negative impacts of alcohol and substance misuse and family violence. The service seeks to improve family wellbeing and reduce the impact of substance misuse and family violence through improving the interface between the relevant sectors and organisations and providing linkages to services for clients.