Grant Opportunity

Friends of HEAL Foundation
35 Orontes Rd, Yeronga
Brisbane, QLD, 4104

Head of HEAL -

Formed in 2012, FHEAL’S mission is to provide relief from distress & improve mental health through Creative Arts Therapy to refugee background children in schools. This is done via the HEAL (Home of Expressive Arts & Learning) service delivered in a safe & supportive environment in school.

The benefits of creative arts therapy for this vulnerable population who experienced war/refugee camp trauma, persecution & displacement are many. Participating in the HEAL music therapy and art therapy has been seen to offer young former refugees improved self-knowledge, emotional regulation & self-esteem, increased possibilities for social inclusion & good settlement, more success in learning, and better overall well-being with a stronger sense of communal belonging.

All HEAL therapists have Masters qualifications, and are currently placed in 5 secondary schools across the Brisbane & Logan areas, where students of concern are referred via teachers, outside agencies, and new arrival screening. Those who are timetabled for therapy are then collected from class by therapists, and sessions include themes such as celebrating strengths, reflecting on identity, and understanding their own feelings and reactions in this new place. When returned to class, they are ready to learn. Thus the HEAL mental health services have no stigma, no cost, no transport obstacles for participants, and are seen as a normal part of the school day. As well, therapists can observe the children in class and the playground, and collaborate on student care with teachers. It is a ground-breaking and highly successful model.

  • Total Requested Amount
  • Total Raised From Donors
  • Remaining Goal

Project Details

Postcode where activity will take place: 4104

Start Date: 07/01/2019

End Date: 07/01/2020

Target Population:

  • Age Groups > Youth (6-25)

Field of Interest:

  • Health > Mental Healthcare
  • Human services > Youth development

Project Summary:

This project will create the position of Head of HEAL, a position currently lacking in HEAL services at all 5 schools. The therapists are currently not only seeing timetabled refugee background children for regular sessions, they are spending time on peripheral business around having a mental health service in a school as well. These activities are appropriate, but they take therapists away from children, which is their core business.

A Head of HEAL, one day per week, would free up time for therapists to concentrate on their clinical creative arts therapy work. The Head of HEAL would then be taking care of all of the necessary extras: writing and updating timetables; applying for grants for equipment etc; screening new arrivals; speaking with school visitors; checking on absences; arranging professional development and supervision sessions for therapists; attending school and outside service meetings and parent meetings; writing reports about the work; preparing presentations, and so on.

The position would be one six hour day per week, during school terms, for six months, undertaken in the HEAL service at Yeronga State High School, where two part-time therapists are currently employed across the week. The school would contribute by including space for the Head of HEAL in the HEAL service, and offering use of computer, phone, photocopying and other operational needs.The Head of HEAL would be a senior, experienced therapist.

Project Outcomes:

We wish to ensure therapists are able to focus on time spent in sessions with individuals and groups of former refugee children. Outcomes would include the Head of HEAL picking up all above-mentioned "extra" activities, and this would increase the therapists' capacity to meet the young people's needs. The Head of HEAL would have the time to form strategic alliances with school staff and other service agencies, and to prepare professional development materials for HEAL and school staff. Development of presentations, informational materials and Therapists' Manual would be done by the Head of HEAL, and s/he would liaise with the Home Liaison Teacher regarding home visits, as well as other stakeholders involved in the childrens' lives, as required.

Success would be seen in therapists having more time and so more opportunity to achieve desired outcomes in therapy with the young people. It would also be seen in therapists with greater job satisfaction because they would be able to concentrate on their core business of spending time with young people, and less time take away with administrative activities.
Success would also be seen in the growth of relationships between HEAL and service agencies, which would aid in better service. As well, there would be a noticeable improvement in communication generally, within the school, with the leadership team and teaching staff, and with the community in general.

Budget Details

Total Budget: $7,200


Income item Price ($)
Grant from ACF 7200


Expense item Price ($)
Salary for Head of HEAL, $60/hr, 6 hrs per day =$360/day, across 20 days 7200

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