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Ladies of the Channel Country

"I was really moved by the meditation as I realised that no matter what is going on in your life you can stay constant and the power comes from within."

The quote is from a woman who attended a wellbeing activity at the Channel Country Ladies Day: an annual event that provides a safe place for women in rural areas to bolster their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Through the Commission’s grant program, Red Ridge Interior Queensland supported 10 women to attend the event, which offers presentations and workshops on topics ranging from the pragmatic to inspiring, to personal and just for the fun of it.

Promoting social inclusion and personal connection are known protective factors for mental health and wellbeing, and among the many workshops available to the women was the Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW), a positive psychology approach that focuses on six key areas of body, mind, spirit, people, place, planet.

Delivered by Central Highlands Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub (also funded by the Commission), WoW offers simple strategies that can be implemented every day to support people to be happier, healthier and more mentally resilient.

The Channel Country women experienced WoW in small groups and were asked to reflect on a place where they felt relaxed, describing where it was, who was with them, the smells, sounds, sights, and feelings of the experience.

By engaging in this simple mindfulness practice, it helped transition the women into a more relaxed state of being, and its portability means the women got to take it home with them to apply to their everyday lives.

The women left Channel Country Ladies Day with a focus on wellbeing and resilience and, through personal connections made, also left re-energised and better equipped for the challenges ahead.

Channel Country Ladies Day may have been a day of fun, laughter and socialising, but for those who attended—the women who experience rural isolation day-in, day-out—this day out provided so much more: when it comes to wellbeing, the value of being connected to others cannot be underestimated.