Harmony for Health
In October this year, ARDS with help from the Northern Territory Primary Health Network (PHN) began a pilot project – Harmony For the Health.
Harmony For Health ran for 10 weeks at the Bagot Community Centre. The project was aimed at the Aboriginal Long-grasser community; specifically those who are affected by alcohol misuse, and desirably, have an interest in music. We anticipated 20 participants, but this far exceeded with close to 50 people engaging with the program over the 10 weeks.
The first part of the project was a music and cultural program used as a diversionary tool, fostering engagement in positive healthy music activities and cultural responsibility through music. The music coordinator was Allen Murphy who has a long history as a music facilitator across the NT.
The second half of the project aimed to provide education in Indigenous languages and plain English about overcoming issues with alcohol and other health education, as well as increasing the understanding and subsequent effectiveness of the services of primary service providers. We hope that this will improve the communication and outcomes between primary service providers and clients of this nature. Our Aboriginal support workers have also assisted individual participants in accessing services.
Lastly, ARDS attended and broadcast live from the ‘Bagot Dinner’ – a kick off celebration to commemorate Bagot’s 80th year. The broadcast went live over Yolŋu Radio, with interviews from NT PHN CEO, presented by ARDS Yolŋu Radio presenter and support worker Sylvia.
We feel that this pilot project is consistent with the priorities outlined in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' Drug Strategy 2014-2019 and was born out of concerns and ideas for ways to address them from the Indigenous staff members who have worked on the project.
The project is to compliment the great work being done by primary service providers in the AOD sphere, through breaking down communication barriers and misunderstandings with the intention of better engagement with services as well as improved general health outcomes.