Social and Emotional Wellbeing Session at JCU

Four members of Wuchopperen’s social and emotional wellbeing team visited James Cook University last week to talk to social work students about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health.

Psychologist Swaran Austin, Bringing them Home Wellbeing Worker Denise Hansell, Women and Girls Program Coordinator Korrie Stanton and Men and Male Youth Health Counsellor Christine Strong provided an overview of their roles and shared information on delivering  sensitive, informed and culturally appropriate support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are experiencing mental health issues.

The presentations were well received with the session taking longer than anticipated as the students asked a lot of questions and were eager to learn more about the issues underpinning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health.

The team would like to thank JCU Social Work Lecturer Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan for inviting them to present to the students.

About the presenters

Swaran provides psychological counselling to female and male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults. Clients can seek a referral from a Wuchopperen GP or self-refer. Swaran works with clients to help them make changes to their behaviour through psychological therapies.

Korrie delivers family and domestic violence education and awareness programs and provides individual support to clients to empower them so they can maintain a life free from abuse.

Denise assists the Stolen Generations – clients affected by past policies which saw children separated from communities and families. She supports clients to find out more about their history and supports them during this process. Denise also helps clients with transport, specialist medical appointments, and paperwork as well as helping them access housing, emergency relief and financial management services.

Christine offers counselling to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients many of whom have been impacted by alcohol and/or drug issues.  She works with people referred from the Courts, Probation and Parole and Child Safety as well as those who self-refer. Christine is able to see people without a formal referral; all that is needed is to book an appointment. Whilst Christine is the counsellor for Men and Male Youth Health, she is able to see women as well.


Back row L- R: Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan, Korrie Stanton, students, Swaran Austin, students, Christine Strong

Front row L – R: Denise Hansell, students