Young Strong & Deadly

AOD/mental health and suicide prevention 2-day program.

The program will be delivered to Aboriginal youth between the ages of 13 – 28 years of Age, both male and female. The program will be delivered by a male and female coworker from ACRC. The program will consist of running six connecting to country and six deadly thinking programs in each region, Blue Mountain, Hawkesbury, Penrith and Lithgow from July 2017 through to June 30th 2019, totaling 24 of each program respectively. The first three connecting to country and Deadly thinking programs in each region will be run in between the 1st of July 2017 and finishing on the 30th of June 2018, total of 12 connecting to country and 12 Deadly thinking program over each year financial year.

The start of each program will start off by a connecting to country which will involve a traditional smoking ceremony and other cultural activities conducted by an elder or an Aboriginal person from the country who has permission and has be trained in that respective area of cultural knowledge. During the connecting to country youth will be encouraged to attend the deadly thinking program in the following fortnight after.

The deadly thinking program will be once again for Aboriginal youth between the ages of 13 to 28 years of age and delivered by Aboriginal trained workers. The deadly thinking program will consist of a one-day workshop, where the youth workers will conduct the deadly thinking program designed to help them identify strengths and weakness and to enable them with tools to help them or their family and friends in times of need. The deadly thinking workers from ACRC will also be accompanied by worker’s form (WACHS) Wellington aboriginal Community health services. The WACHS team are professional trained Aboriginal health workers to address concerns for the youth on the day and to follow up with any health issues after the day on an ongoing basis.

The ACRC young strong and Deadly youth coordinators will work closely with the Wellington Aboriginal community health Service (WACHS) team and connect with other relevant youth, mental health alcohol and other drugs workers as well as professional health workers to enable a safe cultural appropriate ongoing connection to professional services for Aboriginal youth attending the young Strong and Deadly program.

We aim to liaise and work with local schools, sporting bodies and other relevant programs and services within each region for promotion of the programs and in a joint effort in reducing the use of alcohol, drugs, Ice and mental health, and suicide ideations. We aim to support a continued connection to culture and professional support between the Aboriginal youth and other relevant services.


The program will start with a connection to country day trip run by traditional owners in each region. The connecting to country program will provide the youth an opportunity to take part in a cultural learning day. The youth will be taught some of the Aboriginal history and the cultural significance in each region, along with some broader Aboriginal cultural knowledge and ways of connecting back to country. Each cultural day the youth will experience will vary depending on the location of sites visits

On each cultural day the youth will be exposed and taught the significant of.

  • Welcome to country
  • Smoking ceremony
  • Cultural talks from traditional owners.
  • Cultural talks on the importance on connecting to country
  • Rock art and rock engraving site visits and other significant sites.
  • Traditional dancers
  • Mentoring
  • Showing the youth that there are other choices in life
  • Connecting the youth to traditional owners who still hold traditional knowledge.


The young and Strong and Deadly youth team will deliver a deadly thinking day workshop in each area after. The Deadly thinking workshop is designed to give the participants tools to help them deal with personal issues and to also provide them with tools to help family and friends dealing with addictions or mental health issues. The program will be delivered in a safe space where each participants will be given the opportunity to speak about their own life experience or speak about someone close to them. The day will allow them to explore their strengths that they have used to them through any issues that they have had. Throughout the day the participants will learn and take part in discussion on the following topics.


topic Outline
  • Welcome to country
  • Introduce group and set a safe place for all participants.
  • Outline the day
Yarning sessions
  • We will discuss who do you yarn with? This is to identify who they can speak with about worries and who they share happy thoughts with as –well.
  • Discussion about balance in life
Worries that take away strength
  • Discussion of tree of social and emotional wellbeing. This is designed to show them an imagery of what a tree looks like when it is unwell so that they can relate this back to their own life and body.
  • Everyone will be encouraged to share stories in a safe space.
  • Discussion on bullying and harassment.
What happens when we get sick
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression


Suicide risk
  • We will speak about the background of suicide for suicide risk
  • Immediate risk of suicide and tools to help.
  • We will discuss a SAFER plan
Strong mind, no worries
  • Staying safe
  • Skills to deal with stress and worries.
  • What stops us from getting help
  • Local elders.
  • Mentors. And peer support
What stops us from getting help?
  • Tree of life and emotional wellbeing, discussion of what a healthy tree looks like and connect this image with our own bodies.
  • Share stories of success,
What keeps us strong
  • Wellness tree-discussion about people’s strengths.
  • Interpretation of “Strong spirit within”
Strong spirit within
  • Question and answer session
  • What/who will keep us well?
How do we get help
  • Group discussion about help seeking and exploration of local services.
Guided imagery
  • A short meditation exercise- happy place
Support available
  • Provide groups with information of help and services.
  • Highlights /feedback.
  • Presentation of shirts and certificates

Followed on by the deadly thinking program an ACRC youth worker will be designated to the Aboriginal youth who attended the programs and liaise with workers from WACHS and other respective service providers to help advocate and connect them to the resources that they may require in the delivery of a holistic approach.