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Indigenous youth find connection through music

Drummers from the Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation
Drummers from the Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation

Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC) is combining music and psychology to support the mental health of young Indigenous Australians living in far-west New South Wales through the launch of their new Holyoake DRUMBEAT program, thanks to our funding support.

The program, which stands for Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes and Thoughts, is designed to help address statistics that show Indigenous residents in the region are twice as likely to experience mental health problems compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.

With our support, CHAC have purchased 24 djembe drums to deliver the program which targets the factors that contribute to the level of exclusion and accompanying health risks faced by younger members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

By purchasing the djembe drums, CHAC have created a world-first structured learning program that combines music, psychology and neurobiology to help reconnect Indigenous youth with self and others.

The Holyoake DRUMBEAT program uses core rhythms, discussion, games, improvisation and performance to facilitate learning about relationships, harmony, identity, community, emotions and teamwork. Young Indigenous Australians are then able to learn about and develop healthy relationships, as well as equip them with resilience and self-awareness through social and emotional learning.

The program is offered to youth aged 12 - 25 years and consists of six 10-session programs in Dareton and Balranald as part of the CHAC school holiday program and youth groups.

The Djembe drums will not only benefit the Holoyake DRUMBEAT program but will provide an ongoing resource for the local community.

You can find out more on the Coomealla Health Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC) website.