The National Empowerment Project (NEP) is an Aboriginal led research project, established in 2012 and led by Professor Pat Dudgeon from the University of Western Australia. Extensive community consultations following a Participatory Action Research approach across 11 sites in Australia were conducted in response to the high rates of psychological distress, self-harm and suicide in Aboriginal communities.
The NEP was designed to be implemented in three stages:
- The completion of extensive community consultations.
- The development of the Cultural, Social and Emotional Wellbeing (CSEWB) Program.
- The delivery of the CSEWB Program in the NEP community sites.
The aim of the CSEWB Program is to promote the positive social and emotional wellbeing and mental health of families and the community, to build resilience and prevent psychological distress and suicide.
The CSEWB Program is a twelve-month program containing an intensive 12 weeks of workshops and is designed to be offered on three occasions during the 12 months.
While the 12 week CSEWB Program focuses on strengthening the social and emotional well-being (SEWB) of individuals, the twelve-month community SEWB program focuses on strengthening the SEWB of families and the community and will involve a number of activities that have a community-wide focus.
Part of the Program involves community relationship building where Facilitators will contact other services and providers to enlist their support and involvement in the Program.
A Community Reference Group (CRG) guides and assists the NEP Team and Facilitators to oversee the implementation of the 12 month CSEWB Program. This will further strengthen community ownership, will ensure that program duplication is avoided. The CRG consists of senior people who share the goals of the NEP program and may include representatives from main family groups and relevant service providers.
For more information visit the NEP website at www.sis.uwa.edu.au/research/NEP