Hal Tropp and friends on didge, voice and violin. Recorded at Buoyancy Studios
A short guided body scan exercise recorded by Jinesh Wilmott (13mins). This is a mindfulness based technique designed to assist with getting in touch, in a non-judgemental way, with thoughts, sensations and emotions, as they appear moment by moment.
This can be done at home if you have a quiet and comfortable space to lie down, or also sitting in a chair, if that is easier or more appropriate.
Best not to do while driving!
Links to recent articles and podcasts from a variety of external sources, presenting different perspectives on drug harm reduction
‘How safe is your prescription?’
ABC Radio Podcast (synopsis from Radio National Life Matters website)
‘Prescription medication is now a very common part of our lives, whether it’s treatment for a long term medical condition, or just a course of antibiotics to treat an infection. But with their popularity comes new risks. New research shows around one in three prescriptions has an error. Ken Lee is a second generation pharmacist who’s been looking very closely at what can go wrong with the dispensing of prescription medicine.He wants patients, doctors and pharmacists to be more wary’
To download or listen to podcast >> Click here to download or listen to podcast on ABC Radio podcast website
‘Drugs not the answer for modern problems’
article by Dianna Kenny, published in the Sydney Morning Herald. March 14, 2011
Read article on Sydney Morning Herald Website>> http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/drugs-not-the-answer-for-modern-problems-20110313-1bsum.html
‘Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness’
By Gary Greenberg December 27, 2010 published in Wired Magazine, January 2011
Read article on Wired magazine website >> http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_dsmv/all/1
Dan McGuiness from the Bipolar Bears shares about his experiences with the band, and talks about the importance of their role as a mental health advocates.
RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS NOW!
As a number of the former long-term members of the band retired at the end of last year, the BiPolar Bears Band are now recruiting new members for a fresh line-up in 2011.
Looking for high standard musicians for the following positions:
You will need to …
-be a professional standard musician
-have a personal experience of mental health issues and be prepared to share your story
-be willing and able to work hard and contribute fully to the band
-be available for regular rehearsals and gigs, paid and unpaid
-preferably have songwriting experience, your own gear and transport
For more information, please contact Dan McGuiness on 0403 455 378 for details and to register your interest in auditioning.
Guna Green (Buoyancy Foundation) speaks about the benefits and process of art therapy.
Drug and alcohol worker at Buoyancy, Guna Green, gave a demonstration workshop called “The ‘Standard Drink’ Game”, the aim of which is to sharpen up people’s sense of what a standard drink actually is. The term ‘Australian Standard Drink’ has been devised to indicate a drink that has 10 grams of alcohol. Obviously the size of different kinds of alcoholic drinks that will contain just 10 grams of alcohol will vary greatly. One regular pub glass of mid-strength beer will contain about 10 grams of alcohol, whereas a single nip of spirits will contain about 10 grams of alcohol.
During the demonstration, we discovered that when people hear the term ‘standard drink’, they initially assume it means ‘normal drink’, that is, the size of drink that one normally gets served in a pub or bar. In fact, one regular pub glass of full strength beer and one glass of wine, as normally served in a resturant, both contain considerably more than 10 grams of alcohol, thus each is more than the Australian Standard Drink.
Thus there may be a conceptual difficulty with having people grasp the term ‘standard drink’ and its intended use. Thus, in the ‘Stardard Drink Game’, we found that people attempted to pour a drink similar in size to that which they were accustomed to receiving in a pub or restaurant, rather than one that might have just 10 grams of alcohol.
Listen to interview with Guna Green and Adam Forbes>>
Useful links and resources
View a chart of standard drinks – beer, wine and spirits (external link)>>
Nadine Hennequin (TCM practitioner and AOD Clinician) interviews Michele Leber from Windana - on traditional Chinese Medicine approach to amphetamine use and women’s health. 12.55 mins
Part 1 – Soundscapes and words from Sandra Long and DVA theatre created by people with intellectual disabilities. ‘Tall Words’ was performed in Watsonia Library. 10.42 mins
DVA has been an established community theatre company for over 20 years, based in the city of Banyule. It is a company of adult performers with intellectual disability, working alongside volunteer facilitators and a professional Artistic Director. DVA meets weekly for a two-hour workshop throughout the year, with extended workshop and rehearsal hours in preparation for a performance. DVA’s 25 participants range in age from 18 to 60. DVA is always open to new members and has no selection process based on audition, making it a truly accessible theatre company for all interested adults with intellectual disability.
DVA aims to dissolve prejudices towards those with intellectual disability through its public performances, which encourage audience participation and visibility of people with intellectual disability in public spaces. www.dvatheatre.com
Satyanada Yoga teacher and Sri Ram (also known as provisional psychologist David Tries), and Adam Forbes, counsellor at Buoyancy, in conversation about the opportunities provided by men’s groups and gatherings. What are the challenges facing men at the moment? How can men give and receive the support that they need? Sri Ram runs men’s yoga retreat at the Satyananda Ashram near Daylesford. 18.50 mins
Joyful eco-activist David Naylor, and alter-ego Guru Dudu, on finding a life of self-expression and the uses of laughter. David was wandering down the corporate path, when his life took a different turn. 13 mins
What if you, or someone you know, may have a problem with gambling? David Tries, a provisional psychologist from Gambler’s Help City, talks about seeking and getting help. David is also a qualified yoga teacher, and he introduces a practice of awareness, that can help in moving beyond habitual patterns of behavior. 22.30 mins
Deborah Homburg, CEO of Buoyancy Foundation, explains what ‘self care’ might look like in relation to drug and alcohol use – of others or own. 9.44 mins. Also – read article below by Deborah Homburg on the Buoyancy Conversations approach, for the ‘Selling Sickness’ Confernce in Amsterdam, October 2010.Download (233)
Buoyancyconversations.com approach by Deborah Homburg, Buoyancy Foundation CEO
The Buoyancy Foundation is a drug and alcohol agency located in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, whose main activity is to offer counselling to people affected by substance use.
We are concerned to make a contribution to our clients, but as anyone with experience in human services knows, this is not as straightforward as it might seem. At least there are a number of things we do not want to do, among them being to make our clients dependent on us, or to use the client in some way for our own advantage, or to collaborate with the client in assisting them to avoid the consequences of their life choices, all of which we may do if not alert. Another pitfall would be to decide what life choices would be better for the client and attempt to convince him or her to choose them: For example, if a client appears to be trashing their life via drug use, it is natural to want to convince them to stop taking drugs.
Every drug and alcohol worker has been confronted with the desire to do one or other of these things, and being human, many of us have succumbed. And if these strategies worked, in interests of the client we should adopt them, but the fact is they do not work.
One impact of these strategies is to shield the client from the consequences of their life choices and thus the possibility of being responsible. We say that unless the person sees that they were the source of their life so far, they are cheated of the opportunity to design their future. It’s not that clients, by and large, are blind to the consequences of their drug use. Often, they hope that they can continue to engage with drugs, whilst avoiding the consequences. If the consequences are in fact inevitable, we would not be empowering clients if we colluded with them in this aim.
At Buoyancy we stand in the following three principles: ‘nothing wrong’, ‘people are able’ and ‘self care’.
‘Nothing wrong’ aims to take morality out of the mix, and instead to focus on the consequences of actions.
‘People are able’ stands for the possibility of people being capable of choosing actions and discerning consequences.
‘Self care’ resonates with the theme of this Conference. We are interested in empowering people to deal with life, not making them dependent on our expert diagnoses and prescriptions, whether pharmacological or not. Ultimately, the kind of care that makes a difference will ultimately be seen to be self care, that is, confronting the facts of one’s life situation, discovering what actions are available and via experiment, discovering what works to deal with one’s issues. In our experience, what gets uncovered is generally a surprise to the clinician, and not what we would have assumed.
In practice this often means periods of time listening to clients, with the aim of discerning what kind of future they want for themselves and working in partnership with them on steps towards that future. Clients have remarked that staff at Buoyancy do not seem to want anything from them or want anything for them, except what they themselves want. One client remarked that he spent 18 months waiting to be told what to do with his life, until it dawned on him that he wasn’t going to be told. At that point he realized that he would have to sort that out for himself.
Another practical way of assisting self care is to facilitate access to information and materials that clients can use independent of us. We make available a wide range of resources that enable people to experiment, to start seeing things differently and to engage powerfully with their lives. Our website, www.buoyancyconversations.com, is one way we are making resources for self-care available worldwide via the Internet.
Feldenkrais Practitioner, Naomi Richards shares her experience of working at the Asylum Centre Resource Centre and the issues around working with people who have experienced stress and or trauma as a refugee. 14.51 mins.
About the ASRC
Since opening our doors in June 2001, the ASRC has become the largest provider of aid, advocacy and health services for asylum seekers in Australia. We work directly with asylum seekers, both living in our community and detention, to provide direct aid and support as they seek refugee status in Australia.
We also campaign and lobby on behalf of asylum seekers and all Australians who want to change the unjust policies that Australia has adopted. Most importantly, at times of despair and hopelessness, we are there to offer comfort, friendship, hope and respite.
For more info go to - www.asrc.org.au
The BiPolar Bears are one of Victoria’s rock’n’roll institutions – playing their own brand of rock, reggae and blues to audiences for over 16 years. Having a serious mental illness hasn’t held the band back. They have performed hundreds of gigs from Sydney Opera House to psych wards, the iconic Espy Hotel, St Kilda festival, Federation Square, Brisbane’s Powerhouse and a myriad of other events.
Band member and manger, Phil Heuzenroeder describes how the band formed and their creative process. 8mins. www.bipolarbears.com.au
Lighting designer Efterpi Soropos, describes the process of creating a “Disambiguation Room” - housed at McCulloch House, the inpatient palliative care/hospice unit, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria, Australia. The room is a multifunctional art space incorporating light sound, music, smell, texture, colour and image to create an immersive space for patients and their families. 13 mins
Efterpi has established Human Rooms™ - creating environments and immersive spaces which work in harmony with human beings to alleviate stress, anxiety and suffering. www.humanrooms.com
Download human rooms (202)
Yoga teacher, counsellor and psychologist Anna Crowley, shares the benefits of yoga for maintaining mental and physical wellbeing.
Collage – an intuitive process.
by Guna Green, Buoyancy Foundation
Take a tour of the Windana Society’s inspiring therapeutic community, with ecotherapist, Wendy Bell . Part 1 – Meet the cows, goats, geese and plants that the residents take care of, and receive nourishment from. 12.42 mins.
Photos of Windana TC by Adam Forbes