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Mental health service offers innovative therapy thanks to men’s shed

1 May 2018

Helen Druce with Chinchilla Men’s Shed representatives Bob Hodgson (left) and Richard Nickson and the donated sand-play tables.

A collaboration between a community group and the local mental health service has benefitted children and adolescents living with mental health issues.

The Chinchilla Men’s Shed teamed up with staff from the Western Downs Mental Health Service to design and construct a number of tables to be used for sand-play therapy.

The wooden, easily movable, tables hold sand that children and young people can use during therapy sessions.

Sand-play therapy is recognised around the world as an effective way to enable young people, who may have communication difficulties, to express their thoughts and feelings.

Western Downs Mental Health Service team leader Anita Smith said the therapy was particularly beneficial for children who had experienced significant trauma.

"Sand play enables them to express themselves and to help them cope with difficulties," Ms Smith said.

The Chinchilla Men’s Shed group was approached by mental health staff after investigations were made to purchase more user-friendly sand-play trays.

"We had previously been using plastic containers that weren’t really working that well," Ms Smith said.

"Staff then tried to find more appropriate tables but found they were expensive and only available from overseas retailers. We then had the idea to approach the men’s shed to construct a fit-for-purpose table."

Ms Smith said the collaboration was a way for the two organisations to come together.

"Some clients of our mental health service attend the men’s shed. It was nice for those clients to give something back to the service that helps them," she said.

The donation was also supported by Helen Druce from Creative Holistic Counselling.

Last updated: 1 May 2018