The Flying Doctor’s mental health team has found a new way to empower women through the WonderWoman program in Dubbo.
WonderWoman aims to help women who are struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Through the program they are provided with a safe space where they are supported and empowered by their peers, engaging in physical activity and socialising with other women.
The five-week program is run by the Flying Doctor’s Clinic Nurse Specialist Reenie Campbell and Community Support Worker Sarah Little in collaboration with Personal Trainer Sal Yeomans at Dubbo gym Youfitness and Dubbo Health Services.
The program includes a two-hour session each week, consisting of an hour of exercise followed by a lesson in nutrition, a healthy meal, and a presentation by a guest speaker on health and wellbeing.
Dubbo resident Lisa Rowsthorne took part in the program in August last year and said it helped her to see a way out of years of depression.
At WonderWoman, Lisa became part of a supportive community of women who she learned to trust with her deepest hopes and fears, and she used exercise as a way to channel her emotions.
“It’s not just sitting down and talking about problems, it’s getting your emotions out through exercise as well as talking and taking hold of yourself, not letting someone else tell you what to do,” Lisa said.
“I feel more confident now than I ever have. I’m now able to talk and to open up, and I feel inspired to help others.”
Lisa also appreciated the health information they received, such as a presentation on breast and cervical cancer, details of which she had never been told about before.
She also received unconditional support from Reenie at the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
“Reenie believes in me and I have never really had anyone to back me up before,” Lisa said.
“I have never believed in myself much. It’s hard to do, but I’m getting there.”
Since completing the program Lisa has taken strides in her health, fitness and self-confidence. She’s even made the positive decision to quit smoking.
“I try as much as I can to tell people about it,” she said. “I would recommend it straight away to anyone who has had problems.”
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