In celebration of World Mental Health Day on 10th October our CEO Peri took herself off to the Hunter Valley for a weekend at Heal for Life.
Heal for Life provides residential programs that aim to empower people to heal from childhood trauma and child abuse. They run programs for adults, young people and kids, as well as private retreats.
The retreat is off the beaten track 10kms outside of Cessnock and can only be accessed by dirt tracks. The buildings like the programs are organic – made from rammed earth sourced from the surrounding hills and local timbers formed into beautiful buildings by volunteers. The main building also has a yurt-like octagonal, non-denominational ‘chapel’ with the shape of the room aimed at symbolising and facilitating shared power.
On World Mental Health Day, Heal for Life ran an open day event called ‘100% Worthy’ – celebrating Mental Health Day as well as the Foundation’s 16th Birthday. Peri spoke at the event and also hosted a stall on behalf of Being, WayAhead and ARAFMI. More than 70 people visited throughout the day and Peri found the atmosphere was relaxing, affirming and celebratory – with great music from consumers and other activities reminding everyone that each of us is 100% Worthy.
Whilst the centre has had some mixed publicity Peri found the centre to be personally safe and spiritually welcoming. In discussing programs with the CEO Liz Mullinar and the staff and the volunteers Peri found the program facilitators to be both Recovery Orientated and Trauma Informed.
“It might not be for everyone, but many people who supported the open day told me they owed their life to Heal for Life and there is a great deal of passion and support for its continued operation,” said Peri O’Shea. The Foundation is consumer founded, owned and operated.
For more information, visit the Heal for Life website at http://healforlife.com.au