Our Town Retreat
Posted 31 March 2021
Our Town is a ten-year, place-based mental health initiative supporting community-determined responses to mental health and wellbeing. The Our Town initiative aims to build on the capacity of people living in rural and regional South Australian towns to support each other in the face of mental health and wellbeing challenges. The initiative supports towns and regions to define what’s right in and for their community, so that they can reclaim the mental wellbeing of their community.
The retreat was an opportunity for representatives of the six towns – all passionate about improving mental health and wellbeing for their communities- to connect in real life after a year of zoom workshops, meetings, and coaching sessions. Community members were also joined by support team members from TACSI, Clear Horizon, and Fay Fuller.
The retreat provided a space for the Our Town teams to share their experiences and learnings after a year of deep consultation with their communities. As they reflected on 2020, community members found points of intersection and similarity, as well as points of difference and shared the plans and ideas they aim to implement over the course of 2021.
Kangaroo Island resident Sabrina Davis joined us to talk about both personal and community resilience. Sabrina shared her story of loss during the 2019/2020 Kangaroo Island bushfires and her passion for storytelling which led her to share the stories of people in her community through Humans of Kangaroo Island.
On the final day of the retreat we sat in quiet contemplation on the Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park. We spent the time envisioning what was next for Our Town, and how by coming together we could establish a network to drive much needed change in how we support regional mental health and influence broader systems change.