14 March, 2019

Depression and anxiety are mental health challenges that have faced many people in communities affected by severe drought.

Even once physical relief comes, whether through rain or funding, the effects of depression and anxiety linger. To address this in drought-affected communities, ADRA invested in training 46 people as associate directors in the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program.

The training was held in October 2018 at the Adventist Alpine Village, with representatives from 18 different Adventist churches from across the southern New South Wales region.

Nedley Program

The individuals who attended the training program.

The training was facilitated by David Haupt, ADRA Director for the northern New South Wales region.

Sarina Taituave, ADRA Director for the southern New South Wales region, says, “The purpose of the training was to equip church members so they could go back to drought-affected communities and offer the program at an affordable rate to those struggling to cope with the drought. The current drought situation is causing depression and suicide amongst our farmers, and this program can help.”

The weekend was “very inspiring,” and ADRA received a lot of positive feedback from those who attended. Sarina says, “I’ve been in touch with many of the church members who participated, and they are passionate about helping their communities — action plans are in place and churches across the region are planning to facilitate the Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program for community members this year.”

She believes that those who participated would find the training will make a “huge difference” in their lives. “I had the privilege of meeting two young men at the training who had just completed the program themselves and they came so they could give the opportunity to their community,” Sarina says. “The men were severely depressed when they began the program, but now you can’t wipe the smiles off their faces!”