$500k funding boost for Mooditj program to boost health of Aboriginal youth

Karen Molhuysen, Rose Murray, Shelley Coleman, Health Minister Roger Cook, Robyn Wansbrough, Jefferson Turner, Julian Henderson.
Karen Molhuysen, Rose Murray, Shelley Coleman, Health Minister Roger Cook, Robyn Wansbrough, Jefferson Turner, Julian Henderson.

AN evolving health program aimed at Aboriginal youths can now expand after a State Government grant of more than $500,000.

Created in 2002, the Mooditj program is designed to inform young Aboriginal people aged 10 to 14 years about their sexual health, emotions and feelings, goal setting, and puberty and is delivered State-wide.

The $514,654 funding, through Healthway, will help expand the development, trial and evaluation of new modules in social, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Program co-ordinator Rose Murray said the program required adjustments based on needs.

“We’ve brought it up to speed in terms of what young people are into and what the community also said to keep building, which the new stream will be about,” she said.

“We did a bit of a shuffle in terms of what session should come earlier than others and the opportunity to divide it up, so the younger group, 10-14 year olds can do the softer part at the beginning of the year.

“We wanted to expand kids’ knowledge and have the yarn and talk about the variety of relationships, what goes on and the benefits of it.”

Ms Murray said the 10 one-hour sessions about health and relationships were delivered by community members who completed the four-day training.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the interactive program engaged young Aboriginal people in ways that were culturally appropriate and creative.

“Aboriginal youth face serious challenges, with those under 14 years being 12 times more likely to commit suicide than non-Aboriginal youth,” he said.

“The Mooditj program offers young Aboriginal people the critical tools they need to grow and develop into strong adults, confident in their choices and decisions.”