MANNING Support Services (MSS) staff member, Stacey Northam has been invited to present at an international conference in Melbourne which will focus on childhood trauma.
"This is a tremendous achievement for Stacey who has piloted and developed some amazing programs that focus on women and post natal depression," MSS general manager Robert Cooke said.
"To be asked to present and explain her programs and be on the same agenda as international experts and keynote speakers consisting of psychologists, doctors, emeritus professors and the like has simply blown us away."
Stacey has been with MSS since 2012 and has a great depth of understanding of the issues that face mums, particularly in rural areas such as the Manning.
"I am a mum with three young boys, a husband and a full-time job and the expectations placed upon women, in particular mothers, is incredibly unrealistic," Stacey said.
"Throughout the program we debunk the myths of motherhood and put in place a practical and achievable set of strategies for mothers whilst providing a supportive and encouraging environment for women to work on their own goals and work through their experience."
The program was implemented after a significant need was identified through a post natal depression community development project, "Making Time for Mum" and has been running successfully, in partnership with women's health nurse educator, Anne Vilayrack, for the past three years.
"We have seen approximately 60 women attend throughout the life of the program in Taree. An additional program, 'Colouring My Life' was sourced from Jane Newman, a women's health nurse, in Port Macquarie and then adapted and changed to suit our local mums," Stacey said.
The program has become a living document where it is imperative that it is facilitated flexibly and appropriately so as to meet the identified needs of the group attending.
"No group has been facilitated the same, as we hit where it is needed and this is why it has had such qualitative and quantifiable results," Stacey said.
"After identifying a further need for support throughout transition, Anne Vilayrack and I created and piloted a follow on program which has proved to be just as successful in moving women through their journey."
Robert said Stacey is incredibly excited to be presenting this year, albeit a little anxious about speaking in front of the leading experts.
"She will focus on a manifesto of why what she does works so well and hopefully some of the other professionals identify how successful and wonderful this program is and might pick it up and use it to benefit more women, both nationally and internationally.
"I am sure all the mums and fellow professionals Stacey has worked with in developing this program wish her all the best in this exciting venture."